21 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has disclosed that the metering gap for electricity consumers in the country has increased to about 4.7 million over the past few years.
NERC, which made the disclosure in its latest MAP Regulation 2018 report, with Regulation No: NERC-R-112, further declared that it will begin the enforcement of its new metering policy from April 3, 2018.
The report stated that, “The metering gap for all distribution licensees was reported at 4,740,275 meters as of December 31, 2017. This is projected to significantly increase upon the conclusion of the ongoing customer enumeration exercise.”
The new metering policy gives rise to a new class of operators in the power sector known as the Meter Assets Providers (MAPs) whose primary duty is to provide meters for the customer base of a particular distribution company (Disco).
The MAPs are to be selected by the Discos via a fair selection process of tendering.
According to the report, “This policy seeks to bridge the widening metering gap in the electricity supply industry.
“Reports affirmed that the country’s metering gap had increased to about 4.74 million, as power consumers welcomed the new policy, describing it as a panacea for meter unavailability.”
The Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance at NERC, Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, explained recently that the MAPs would now take up the duty of providing meters to customers, among other functions.
Buttressing the objectives of the MAP Regulation 2018, the commission stated that the main objective of the regulations was to provide standard rules to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services in the electricity supply industry and eliminate estimated billing.
Other objectives are to attract private investments to the provision of metering services, close the metering gap through accelerated meter rollout, and enhance revenue assurance in the power sector.
On metering gap and obligations to power distribution companies, the MAPR 2018 stated that Discos were responsible for meeting their metering targets as specified by the commission from time to time.
Meanwhile, the Electricity Meters Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (EMMAN) have said that the new Meter Assets Providers Regulation (MAPR) policy in the power sector would create massive employment opportunities for Nigerians.
The Executive Secretary of EMMAN, Mr. Muideen Ibrahim, said this in a statement issued in after a meeting with indigenous meter manufacturers, noting that aside from creating job opportunities, it would also ensure the transfer of technology to Nigeria as well as enhance Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) among others.
According to him, the implementation of the local content should be followed as enshrined in the MAP regulations, which will enable the local electricity meter manufacturers to be up and doing.
“The meter manufacturers would ensure production of meters to capacity, utilise their resources very well and adequately. Not only that, it will enable them to employ more Nigerians from the teeming unemployed in the country,” he said.
The EMMAN scribe commended the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for the timely passage of the Meter Asset Providers Regulations (MAPR).
He also expressed the association’s profound gratitude to Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing for his concern and commitment toward addressing the metering gap in the sector.
“This is indeed a step in the right direction and will no doubt bridge the metering gap soonest if the MAP regulations are well harnessed.
“We are indeed very grateful to NERC for the local content initiative as enshrined in the regulations. We implore NERC to ensure that the MAP regulations are strictly monitored for effective performance by all parties involved.
“Our candid advice is that all the parties involved in this new initiative should cooperate with one another,” Ibrahim urged.