In its bid to improve and hasten the process of metering electricity consumers across the country, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, is considering taking the responsibilty of procurement and deployment of electricity meters away from the distribution companies, DisCos.
NERC intends to give the responsibility solely to the meter vending firms
The proposal, which is still being studied by all the stakeholders, could potentially create a robust metering subsector capable of attracting huge investments and spurring economic activities especially as regards domestic production of electricity meters if ratified.
The proposal would also seek to create meter vending firms that are linked with the Discos across the country, which at the request of the Discos, install meters to either new or existing customers. They will also calibrate the meters to bear some biometric details of their users through which instances of electricity theft or meter by-pass could be effortlessly traced and the culprits prosecuted.
The Acting Chairman of NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah stated that stakeholders such as the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Discos and others industry players were considering its merit and potential execution in the sector.
Akah explained further “The decoupling of the metering responsibility from the Discos and their allowed Capex (capital expenditure), if properly articulated and implemented would accelerate the closing of the huge metering gap, enhance confidence of the electricity customers on the integrity of Discos billing, create opportunity for meter industries to be established in Nigeria, generate employment, conserve foreign exchange and promote the utilisation of local materials in the manufacturing of electricity meters,”
He, however, stressed that the proposal is still at the consideration stage.