NERC Gives More Discos Nod to Procure Third-party Meters

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday disclosed that it had given two more electricity distribution companies (Discos) in Nigeria’s power sector the nod to engage third-party contractors to install meters for consumers under their networks.

Last week, the commission approved the requests of Abuja and Jos Discos to engage third-party meter vendors under the Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) framework it recently initiated to close up the existing metering gap in the power sector, as well as the prevalent incidence of estimated bills which often put Discos and consumers at loggerheads.

It said in a statement from its General Manager, Public Affairs, Dr. Usman Arabi, in Abuja that it issued permits to Ikeja and Benin Discos to engage the services of MAPs they have chosen in accordance with Section 4(3) of the MAP Regulations.

According to the statement, the approved MAPs are Mojec International Limited; Consolidated Infrastructure Group Ltd; New Hamshire Capital Ltd which were successful in the procurements conducted by Ikeja Disco, while Benin Disco selected FLT Energy System Ltd; G-Unit Engineering Ltd; Inlaks Power Solution Ltd; Sabrud Consortium Nigeria Ltd; and Turbo Energy Ltd, during its MAP procurement.

“Section 4(3) of the MAP Regulation 2018 requires all electricity distribution licensees to engage MAPs that would assist, as investors, in closing the metering gap and thus eliminating the practice of estimated billing in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),” said the NERC in the statement.

It further explained that Ikeja Disco mandated IEDC Mojec International Limited to provide 399,790 meters within the framework; Consolidated Infrastructure Group Ltd will provide 397,922 meters as well, while New Hamshire Capital Ltd will give it 276,699 meters, to bring the total number of meters it would procure from them to 1,074,411. No figures were given for the procurements made by Benin Disco.

The statement said that NERC has directed that the rollout of meters by the 11 Discos in the power sector shall commence no later than May 1, 2019, adding that customers of Ikeja and Benin Discos should expect that from the commencement of the rollout date meters would be installed in their premises within 10 working days of making payment to MAPs in accordance with section 18(3) of the regulations.

As regards the payment process, NERC said: “MAPs shall charge an upfront amount of N36,991.50 for single phase meters and N67,055.85 for three phase meters respectively.  These costs of meters are inclusive of supply, installation, maintenance and replacement of meters over its technical life.

“The commission shall monitor closely the rollout plan of distribution licensees and overall compliance with the regulation and various service agreements by the MAP and electricity distribution licensees.”