Chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL), Mr Kola Balogun, has called on the Federal Government to grant licenses to selected indigenous companies to sell prepaid meters directly to consumers.
Balogun, who made the call in an interview with journalists in Lagos, said the move would help to bridge the huge metering gap in the country.
According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), of the 12,784,685 registered energy customers as at September 2021, only 4,772,906 (37.33 per cent) have been metered.
Balogun noted that the metering gap for end-use customers was a key challenge in the industry and responsible for apathy towards payment of electricity bills.
He said, “The government can select a few tested and trusted manufacturers that have capacity and endorse them for generality of consumers to buy prepaid meters directly from them.
“They can grant them licenses just like banks, telecommunications and insurance companies.
“We, as manufacturers, want NERC to give us the room to sell directly to consumers and take it to electricity Distribution Companies for installation.
“It is as simple as that because there is no meter that we produce that doesn’t meet the standard of Nigeria.
“So, if all our locally manufactured meters meet the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) certification, consumers can buy them and take them to the DisCos.”
According to him, it will be a win-win situation because it will not only close the metering gap and shore up revenue efficiency of the DisCos but will also create huge employment opportunities for Nigerians.
Balogun added, “This will fast-track the metering process.There are some people who cannot wait until the DisCos install meters in their premises.
“They have their money and want to buy meters but they are passing through a lot of bureaucracy in the hands of the DisCos.
“Many consumers are frustrated about the estimated billing system and want to get their meters as soon as possible.
We have people who have made payments for meters but have still not been metered because of various issues.”
Balogun also commended the government for the successful completion of the Phase Zero of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) and the support given to local meter manufacturers.
He said the companies were prepared for the commencement of the second phase and were working to ensure that the meters complied with the 4G network requirements of the government.