Sanusi Garba, president of NERC, said this during an interactive session with journalists on Tuesday in Lagos.
Garba said that around 980,000 electricity customers were metered across the country under Phase Zero, which was designated by the Federal Government on October 30, 2020.
Garba said: “For phase one, which is four million meters, a Project Implementation Unit has been established.
“That unit is going to carry out the competitive acquisition by the local meter manufacturers to supply the meters.
“You have to go through a competitive process to get good value for money. We don’t want a situation where manufacturers unilaterally decide the price. That is about to start now. “
He said the commission was confident that phase one would begin in the first quarter of 2022.
“As you all know, these meters have components that are largely imported and it takes time to ship, clear customs, and for NMMP meters to be available,” Garba said.
He also explained why the Meters Asset Providers (MAP) scheme was being implemented together with the NMMP by Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).
The NERC president noted that the NMMP did not terminate the MAP scheme because MAP providers already had existing agreements with DisCos to supply them with meters.
“Now we decided that the MAP should run at the same time as the NMMP with a very clear structure.
“The reason we have asked MAP to continue is that the measurement gap is so large and it will take two to three years to close the measurement gap.
“So if you are a consumer today and are eager to get a meter, then you don’t need to wait for the NMMP meter, which is free.
“You can go the MAP route and get your meter right away and get your money back through the DisCos energy credit,” Garba said.
He said DisCos, by regulations guiding the industry, were allowed to obtain financing to provide meters to customers.
According to him, the World Bank is also providing a loan for additional meters to Nigerians to close the measurement gap of about eight million.
“This is to ensure that all Nigerians over the next two to three years are fully measured and that the estimated billing story comes to an end,” Garba said.
He said that despite the challenges, the power sector was moving towards financial and technical sustainability and would not need to rely on full government support.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the NMMP was established to close the metering gap in Nigeria’s electricity supply industry.
It would help reduce collection losses and, at the same time, increase financial flows to achieve the 100 percent market remittance obligation of DisCos.
Part of the goals also include eliminating arbitrary estimated billing, improving network monitoring capacity, and providing data for market management and investment decision making.
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