Sunday Okobi and Ugo Aliogo
The Vice-President, Professor, Yemi Osinbajo, has called for increased financing in the power sector to improve the number of prepaid meters that the Distribution Companies (Discos) need to deploy in Nigeria’s households as well as the economy.
Osinbajo, who disclosed this recently in Lagos during his visit to Mojec International (local manufacturer of prepaid electricity meters) recently, noted that there is need to bridge the financing gap which he said has to change so that the local meter manufacturers, the discos and the end users can benefit maximally.
He expressed confidence that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is putting measures in place to bridge the funding gap in the deployment of more prepaid meters to household, “and without a doubt, it is not just a potential anymore, we are faced with the pleasant realities. But in metering, we are way ahead in manufacturing locally.”
Osinbajo, who expressed delight at Mojec’s efforts in producing prepaid meters, added that Ladol’s $16 million investment is also worthy of commendation and significant to the economy.
He explained that the Ladol investment which is 100 percent Nigeria and privately owned is a demonstration of the commitment of the federal government provide infrastructural framework for businesses that are private sector led to succeed.
According to Osinbajo, who also inaugurated Mojec New Meter Box on his visit, “The manufacturing of prepaid meters is excellent. I am extremely proud of what I am seeing here and of course at Ladol, it is excellent as well and with an investment with an excess of $16 billion. This investment is significant. It is also 100 percent Nigeria and private owned.
“It tells you that the federal government understands that businesses and economy growth have to be private sector led and our business as government is to create the environment to enable the private sector to do what it is meant to do which is business. Clearly what we are seeing here at Mojec is not just potential, but the reality is that we are able to produce prepaid meters at Mojec International and few others have proved that.”
In her remarks, the Managing Director, Mojec International Limited, Chantelle Abdul, commended the vice president for his commitment to promoting local content and expressed the company’s desire to work closely with government to find lasting solutions to the metering gap and lack of steady power supply in the country.
She stated that the current facilities and factory in the country are capable of producing electricity meters from start to finish, adding that the factory has provided adequate proof that local companies can produce meters that can meet global standard which could consequently help in reversing government policy on local meter manufacturing.
Abdul appealed to the government to assist local manufacturers by formulating policies that would make cheap financing accessible and available which could help reduce the cost of meters to citizens.
According to her, “We commend and applaud NERC for the recently released MAP policy. However, only 70 percent of meters required are expected to be imported while 30 percent are to be locally produced. If the Nigerian meters market is about 6million metering gap, this means only 2million meters will be produced locally which can easily be manufactured by Mojec meters alone.
“However, there are over six local manufacturers in the country who, through patronage, can help create jobs and contribute to our national, knowledge transfer, research and development can enable Nigeria become an innovation hub such that we will be able to supply Nigerian made meters to the rest of Africa and the world. With this situation, what we are asking is that the policy be reversed as this will enable other local manufacturers produce and create employment while encouraging foreign investors invest in the country directly instead of dumping foreign made meters into the Nigeria market. By so doing, we would be developing local capacity and creating enough jobs that would contribute greatly to our economy.”