The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has directed the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) to formally wind-down, by November 1, 2016, the alternative meter financing scheme it initiated in 2013.
The commission said in a letter to the Discos that between November 2013 and June 2016, only about 500,000 meters were deployed by the 11 Discos within their networks with less than 35 per cent of that directly done by the Discos.
Dr. Anthony Akah, acting chairman of NERC, disclosed this in Abuja that the directive to the Discos to close-down the CAPMI scheme was based on the pronouncement of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, that the Discos have done badly with meter deployment even after collecting monies from consumers.
In his words, “It should be recalled that the CAPMI initiative, which was instituted in 2013 was designed to assist the Discos in providing alternative financing options for reducing the very dire metering gap that was estimated to be above 50 per cent (courtesy report submitted by the a metering committee headed by the tate Barr. BamideleAturu) in 2012.
“The commission then invited stakeholders including all the Discos, meter service providers, local meter manufacturers and other importers of metering instruments to assist in articulating a scheme that would assist in reducing the suffering of customers from estimated billing.
“The Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation was then articulated to incorporate a framework for easy procurement by Discos based on a bid document that reduced the time lag and focused mainly on ability to supply and install the meters within 45 days from when a customer paid the stipulated fee,” Akah said.
Akah said while the scheme will be formally closed by November 1, the commission expects that Discos would meter all the customers who have so far paid for meters under the CAPMI scheme and not collect any form of payments for meters between now and when the program will end.