The Minister of Power, Works and Housing in Nigeria, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday, explained the process that had caused the delay in the installation of meters in different homes.
Fashola who was addressing a forum on Electricity Metering that had heads of distribution companies and meter producing companies in attendance.
He said that the ‘installation of meters is a process that takes the time to complete’.
A large number of electricity consumers are on estimated billing system that leaves most of them paying higher than what they consume per month.
To end the outrageous estimated bills that they receive, the government had established the credit apply initiative – CAPMI – to enable consumers to make payment for meters that should, by law, be delivered within 45 days of payment.
Most consumers made payments but meter delivery in most cases exceeded 45 days.
Complaints about non-receipt of meters mounted and the government suspended the scheme.
Fashola said, “The ideal situation will be to meter everybody, but if we had the metering gap that we have today, if we have the three million estimated meters that we need today to meet the date, it will need man-hours, one after the other, hours upon hours, to actually install all of them.
“We should also understand that metering is also a process. Meters are first produced and then they are calibrated for each DISCO (Distribution Company).
“So, the fact that you make a meter does not mean you will go and install it in a DISCO. It is a process and each home will have to be addressed on the basis of its survey, what its needs are and other things”.
The minister noted that the entire nation could not be metered within few years considering the population and needed manpower.
He said, “We did not meter the whole of Nigeria in 63 years. The transition process is just three years.”
He, however, insisted that the burden of metering a consumer was that of the DISCOS.
Fashola also identified lack of trust in the DISCOS by the consumers, as a major issue that had hindered the distribution of the meters.
On the current efforts the government is making to improve power in the nation, he said that efforts were being focused on the regulation of the power industry.
He stressed, “Our power journey is in transition. Public power started in Nigeria in 1960. Every day it becomes clearer that the problems in the power sector are not as technical, as they are man- made.”
The minister also noted that his Ministry had designed an easy journey to increase electricity supply, with the first phase focusing on incremental power, which would enable it to get existing projects to run.
His words, “The transmission system is dynamic. There are projects for transmission that are ongoing. We are not at 5,000 megawatts, the capacity is increasing every day.”