Lagos — Total number of meters distributed so far under the Meter Asset Provider, MAP initiative since its full operation in March 2018 has risen to 611,231.
The electricity market regulator, NERC which disclosed the progress in its latest consultation paper review of the MAP regulation for February said the current outreach was achieved as at 31st January 2021.
A report by SweetcrudeReports in February had revealed how the 11 utility firms fell behind target by 115, 560 meters under the MAP following a monthly target of 166, 781 meters.
The lapses were arrived at because as at last November, the DisCos were able to disburse just 51, 221 meters under the initiative.
With the update from NERC, this means that while the MAPs targets 6, 588, 971 meters, the DisCos have achieved distribution of just 611, 231 to date.
From data gathered in February, 122, 737 meters were deployed in 2019, 103, 780 deployed Q1 2020, 67, 746 distributed in Q2 2020, and 125, 311 meters in Q3 last year under the MAPs.
Meters distributed by the 11 DisCos last October under the MAPs amounted to 38, 017.
NERC’S reason for setback under MAP
According to the regulator, in order to ensure transparency in the meter roll-out as provided for in the MAP regulations, deployment of meters could not commence until August 2019 following the conclusion of competitive procurement by DisCos which was monitored by the Commission, adding that the challenge of closing the metering gap in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI still persists as more than half of the registered electricity customers remain unmetered.
The existence of a huge metering gap and the need to ensure successful implementation of the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO 2020 service-based tariff resulted in the approval of the National Mass Metering Programme, NMMP, a policy of the federal government anchored on the provision of long-term low-interest financing to the DisCos.
As a result, FG had disbursed N14 billion to utility firms, DisCos to help hasten closure of the metering gap.
The main objectives of the NMMP are to increase the meter deployment rate, promote local meter manufacturing, create jobs in the local meter value chain, reduce collection losses, and enhance NESI’s financial viability.
A total of one million meters will be deployed in the ongoing first phase NMMP, and between 3-4 million target in the second phase- to be financed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the World Bank.
A report by SweetcrudeReports in January had chronicled the NMMP falling short of its monthly target by approximately 11, 000 installations.
According to NERC’s data, meters deployed by the 11 DisCos last November fell short by 11, 003 meters from a scheduled monthly target of 25, 353 meters.
The DisCos had in line with the first phase 1 million metering target contracted same number of meters, with Abuja DisCos getting an allocation of 101, 186 meters. Benin DisCo got an allocation of 90,870 meters, Eko 79,178, Enugu 92,381, Ibadan 103,997, Ikeja 106,701, Jos 88,538, Kaduna 86,957, Kano 87,747, Port Harcourt 77,070, and Yola 85,376 meters.
However, despite the expected monthly target of 25, 353, the DisCos were able to distribute only 14, 350 meters (14, 097 one phase meters and 253 three-phase meters), leaving a deficit of 11, 003 meters.
The NMMP was launched in October. But the first phase installations which kicked off last November did not see any meter distributed in December, or report of distribution this January and February either.
However, SweetcrudeReports learnt that meters are now available for deployment, as DisCos were currently seen sending out messages to customers who are yet to apply for meters.
General Manager, Corporate Communications, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, Godwin Idemudia said the company encouraged all its customers to endeavor to complete their meter application form online, submit so as to benefit from the ongoing NMMP, saying those who apply would be metered immediately.
“We definitely want our unmetered customers to take advantage of this opportunity to get metered. Please visit our website at https://ekedp.com/page/OrderMeter, fill out the form and submit, within days, you will be metered. We want an end to the estimated billing method so that we can channel our energy into making more power supply available to our esteemed customers. Many customers have benefitted from this mass metering programme and we want more customers to take advantage of this,” a statement by the utility firm said.
Overall, FG targets 6 million distributions nationwide. Although the exact amount released for the project was not released, however, speculations say budgeted funds fall between N269.38bn and N497.13bn. The federal government currently has a 40 percent shareholding in the power sector.