24 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Electricity Meter Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (EMMAN) has said that low patronage by electricity distribution companies posed serious threats to member’s business sustainability.
The Executive secretary of EMMAN, Mr Muyideen Ibrahim disclosed that most local meter manufacturers in Nigeria have retrenched lots of staff due to low demand from the Discos.
He noted that of the 11 distribution companies in the country, only Ibadan, Eko and Abuja distribution companies are the ones patronising EMMAN members, adding that the demand was still low.
According to Ibrahim, “The power firms are making money through estimated billings perhaps because the investors, who bought the assets of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), borrowed money to acquire these assets.”
He urged the federal government to intervene in order to prevent metering industry from collapse.
“The government should compel Discos to buy meters from local manufacturers since they are producing quality meters.
“By this patronage, the government will be promoting local content initiatives, introduced to promote the growth of indigenous business, while at the same time, helping in conserving foreign exchange.”
He added that, “When we make do with what we have, we are saving the country from brain drain. The multiplier effects are industrial growth, technological advancement, unemployment generations and others,” he said.
The EMMAN executive seceretary advised Discos to stop importing meters, adding that they are developing the foreign countries at the expense of Nigeria.
He added that importation of meters causes currency fluctuations and also leads to loss of jobs and social vices, pointing that if they patronise local manufacturers, there would be massive job offer and would contribute to the GDP in the long run.
Ibrahim added that the manufacturers has the capacity to produce 25,000 meters monthly, adding that five manufacturers currently produces 5,000 meters on monthly basis with ability to double production.
He pointed out that foreign exchange fluctuations also contribute to meter production challenges, as the exchange rate is extremely high and most of the raw material for meter production are not available in the country.
He said that all members of EMMAN run on generating sets due to erratic power supply which affects production processes.