16 October 2014, Abuja – Electricity distribution companies in Nigeria have been urged to deploy smarter prepaid metering systems owing to the peculiarities of the Nigerian market, which is characterised by power supply diversions and meter overloading, among other issues.
This observation was made by Techno Gas and Power when it sealed a deal with a Bulgarian company, Incotex, to manufacture prepaid meters to meet the needs of millions of electricity consumers in Nigeria, a statement by the firm on Tuesday indicated.
According to the firm, the use of smarter prepaid meters would check these excesses and guarantee accountability in the industry as far as electricity consumption is concerned.
It also admitted that the case of some prepaid meters melting up in the course of usage and eventually packing up could be avoided if smarter meters were used as such meters would shut down if overloading was detected.
The firm stressed that the metering gap in the country was still very wide, and the situation provided a huge opportunity for businesses with the capacity to produce prepaid meters of global standards, which would, indeed, add value in the industry as far as accountability was concerned.
On its deal with Incotex, Techno said the strategic move was in line with the ongoing Federal Government’s power sector reforms, as it (Federal Government) had recently, in 2013, unbundled the entire Power sector.
Techno Gas and Power was among the few successful companies that were licensed by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission to manufacture metering systems in Nigeria under the auspices of the Credit Advance Payment for Metering Implementation scheme.
The company said it was not only licensed to manufacture meters but also licensed to install the meters as well as vend/bill application providers. Techno Gas and Power is a subsidiary of Techno Oil Limited.
“The planned meters would bring succour to Nigerian investors because they are tamper-proof and so the practice of many consumers to bypass meters and connect directly would be a thing of the past. The meters would read even when it has been bypassed by the customer and at very low voltage thus saving energy,” it explained.
The Managing Director, Techno Gas and Power, Sir Collins Onyeama, was quoted as saying that, “We entered the partnership with the Bulgarian firm to ensure that consumers in a very short period can have their meters after purchase.”
He said that the setting up of the meter manufacturing factory would put a stop to unwholesome dumping of low quality metering solutions in Nigeria, create job for the teeming Nigerians as well as provide a veritable avenue for the injection of value to the unbundling programme of the Federal government on the Power sector.
“We are all aware of the discomfort suffered by millions of electricity consumers nationwide, who are unable to get electricity meters due to no fault of theirs,” he added.
A representative of Incotex, Mr. Steve Muckett, was said to have said that the partnership between both firms would bring a big boost in the Nigerian power sector.
He was quoted as saying that, “We can assure Nigerians that the era of crazy billing and estimated billing has come to an end.”
– The Punch