A new law approved by tThe Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved a new law that permits operators other than the distribution companies (DisCos) to supply electricity meters to electricity consumers in the country which would result in a new class of operators in the power sector called Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) being mandated to join in providing the service.
The NERC Commissioner for Legal, Licencing & Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, said the MAPs would henceforth be responsible for supplying electricity meters to customers, among other functions.
Mr. Akpeneye who disclosed the news at the 25th Monthly Power Sector Meeting in Abuja said the challenge of non-availability of meters for electricity consumers was a serious concern to NERC, consumers, distribution companies, financiers and other interest groups in the industry.
“We all arrived at the same answer that we have to do something different to solve the problem. We can no longer leave this very important obligation to the distribution companies alone. Other players have to come into this space. So, that was why we created the NERC Meter Asset Provider Regulation, 2018,” he said.
“In the past, NERC left metering of electricity consumers as the sole responsibility of the power distribution companies as included in their performance agreement.
“But, It’s been over four years since privatisation of the power sector and customers are still complaining about inadequate supply of meters. So, to solve this problem, we created a new class of operators in the industry called Meter Asset Providers,” Mr. Akpeneye said.
He further explained that the MAP’s would not only be independent, but would be approved by the commission and contracted by the DISCOs to bridge the metering gap in the country hereby giving electricity consumers various options in their quest for getting meters.
“The MAPs do not only have the responsibility to provide meters, they also have the responsibility to ensure those meters are maintained and replaced within 48 hours if anything goes wrong with them”, he said.
“This regulation will not only address the issue of metering to consumers, but estimates are that it would attract an investment of over N200 million in the next three years in the industry as well as create jobs.
He said NERC had introduced local content requirement into the regulation, adding that with the commencement of the new arrangement, the commission estimated at least 30 per cent of all meters deployed would be procured from local manufacturers and assemblers.
As the regulation progresses, Mr. Akpeneye said the need to use local providers would be increased in line with the NERC local content regulation.