Metering, Solution to Liquidity Challenges in Power Sector, Says Mamman

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Peter Uzoho

The Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman, has expressed the federal government’s readiness to ensure massive metering of electricity consumers in the country, saying metering remains the best option towards addressing liquidity challenges in the power sector.

The minister specifically said effective metering of electricity consumers was the best option to help distribution companies (DisCos) get more money to pay generation companies (GenCos).

Mamman, stated this recently, during an inspection tour of Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL) factory in Mowe, Ogun State.

He described metering as one of the factors bordering Nigerians, particularly the electricity consumers.

He said: “When I resumed, I took metering as one of the important areas of electricity market liquidity and sustainability. We have to produce meter to get more money for the sector. This will enable us to get more money from DisCos to pay GenCos. The only way to achieve that is to embrace metering.

“That is why I have come here to see it and believe it and to also direct on how to get meters out to the consumers. I’m here to inspect the factory of MEMMCOL, because I don’t believe in sitting in the office and listening to stories.

“I want to see things for myself and today I’m convinced that we have a Nigerian that has the capacity and capability to bridge the huge metering gap in the country. I am more encouraged now to declare that our local companies have the capacity to produce meter that is expected and required in the country.”

The minister commended the management of MEMMCOL for putting up such gigantic facility with the capacity to meet Meter Assets Providers (MAPs) specification in the country.

He added: “I am very much impressed with the local content drive by MOMAS on meter manufacturing to see a Nigerian producing meter up to 1,000 per day. This is indeed commendable. MOMAS is one of the top meter manufactures in Nigeria that we should be proud of. We should allow and encourage investors into the country and also give consideration to our own local manufacturers to grow.”

In his remarks, MEMMCOL Chairman, Mr. Kola Balogun, said his company has the capacity to produce above 50,000 smart meters per month if supported by the federal government and if adequately patronised by DisCos.

Balogun, lauded the minister for inspecting his meter manufacturing company, assuring him that the company would continue to produce quality and standard meters that meet international best standard.

According to him, “I want to tell Nigerians that we have the capacity and the capability to deliver metering solution to our metering requirement in the country. All we need is government intervention to support us with more funds to enable us meet the demand of the larger populace in metering. One of the major challenges is funding, DisCos need recapitalisation, adequate funding to buy sufficient meters for consumers.”

He, however, appealed to the government to ensure that local content was entrenched in the power sector so that meter licensees would comply with the policy.

He also urged government to increase the 30 per cent threshold in local content on metering to 70 per cent to give local meter manufacturers opportunities to attract investors.

He added that government needed to invest heavily in the sector and, through its regulatory authorities, ascertain that these products meet international standards.