Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) wednesday disclosed that it had approved the applications of 22 private firms and consortia that applied to become meter providers in its new meter regulatory framework, the Meter Asset Provider (MAP).
It stated in a statement from its Head of Public Affairs, Usman Arabi, in Abuja, that the 22 approved firms have been issued certificates of â€˜No Objectionâ€™ by it to participate in meter procurement process which is expected to help the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) bridge the wide metering gaps in their networks as well as reduce or end the practice of estimated electricity bills often regarded as â€˜crazy billsâ€™ by Nigerians.
According to the commission, the new development followed its approval of the MAP Regulations 2018, and harvest of applications from interested investors.
The NERC disclosed that as at December 31, 2017, the metering gap for all distribution licensees was 4,740,275.
It also noted that the gap was expected to significantly increase upon the conclusion of the ongoing customer enumeration exercise it embarked on.
According to the agency, implementation of the MAP regulation started from April 3, 2018, when it signed off on it.
It explained: â€œMAP Regulations is intended to facilitate closure of the wide metering gap in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) within three years. The â€˜No Objectionâ€™ is to qualify intending investors to participate in the meter procurement process in NESI.â€
NERC said the companies it approved to participate in the MAP were Huawei Technology Company Nigeria Limited; Bilview Energy Limited; Chintech Electro Nigeria Limited; Holley Metering Limited; Meron Nigeria Limited; Integrated Power Limited; MBH Power Limited; Trimani Engineering Limited; Sapropel Energy Resources Limited; Megawatt Distribution International Limited; Unistar Hi-Tech Systems Limited; and MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited.
Others shortlisted include, Imperial Infrastructure Development Company Limited; Ratio Consulting Limited; Protogy Global Services Limited; Paktim Metering Nigeria Limited; Sabrud Consortium Nigeria Limited; Tinuten Nigeria Limited; Kayz Consortium Limited; BTS Power Limited; CIG Metering Assets Nigeria Limited and Cresthill Energy Limited.
On how it expects the transactional relationship between the Discos and MAPs to play out, the commission said: â€œThe regulation mandates Discos to engage meter assets providers who fund purchase, installation and replacement of meters to meet Discos metering obligations to their customers.
â€œThis is to ensure that all electricity customers are metered thereby reducing incidences of estimated electricity billing to the barest minimum.â€
It added: â€œThe commission having conducted due diligence on the supporting documents to the applications submitted by interested investors, has granted successful applicants â€˜No Objectionâ€™ to participate in the procurement process for meter assets provision in accordance with section 8 subsection 4 of the Meter Assets Providers Regulations, 2018. Members of the public and intending investors should please note that the publication of these applicants does not foreclose other interested applicants from getting the â€˜No Objectionâ€™ as it is a continuous exercise.â€