Meter Rollout: Manufacturer Says May 1 Not Realistic

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Peter Uzoho

Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL), one of the meter asset providers (MAPs) licensed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to provide meters for electricity consumers, has said the directive by NERC to rollout new meters from May 1 is unrealistic.

Speaking with journalists in Lagos, the chairman of MEMMCOL, Mr. Kola Balogun, said some of the modalities needed to be in place before that could work.

Last Friday, NERC had mandated MAPs to begin the rollout of new meters by May 1, a year after the commission introduced MAPs – third party investors, into the power sector to facilitate massive metering of electricity consumers in the country.

However, Balogun contended that some issues relating to the rollout had not been addressed, saying the NERC’s directive cannot work.

He said: “The directive cannot work; in the first instance, consumers needed to be educated about what is expected of them to have access to MAP licensee. Secondly, consumers have to be informed on the methods of acquiring meters, whether by payment or by investment.

“Lastly, every manufacturer (licensee) that wants to roll out meters needs a grace of three months to enable it has the meters available in their warehouses. The modality to start rolling out meters has to be put in place viz a viz all the various documentations that are required and the infrastructure that will make deployment run smoothly.”

Balogun noted that when the modality is put in place, the firms can begin rolling out of meters effectively by July, adding: “If we are licensed this month (April), three months are enough for us to prepare, that is April May and June, while in July we start implementation.

“Except for few numbers of us who have some stock at hand that can roll out, but the modality to roll out is also a question. Apart from NERC giving licenses, we still need processes to be put in place before meters will get to consumers because we need to train the meter installers; they need to be adequately trained on installation in consumers’ premises.”