Tuesday, January 5, 2016 10:43 am
With an estimated three million customers who use electricity in Nigeria but are not metred, the Nigerian government is accelerating ways to ensure that issues of estimated bills by electricity distribution companies end as soon as possible.
Part of the strategies involves encouraging local manufacturers of pre-paid metres to produce standard metres to get every customer to only pay for what he consumes.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who has met with the local manufacturing companies, said he was determined to refocus on the need to rapidly roll-out meters in order to ensure that distribution companies charge electricity consumers only for energy they consumed.
The minister, joined at the meeting by the Minister of State, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, and other top officials of the ministry including the Permanent Secretary for Power, Mr Louis Edozien, said he requested that the meeting be convened to know first hand the challenges confronting the local metre manufacturers.
He also urged the local manufacturers to think outside of the box through innovations that would help them tap into the immense opportunities in the rapidly emerging electricity industry as a private sector driven enterprise.
At the forum on Monday, according to Hakeem Bello, Special Adviser to Fashola on Communications, issues that came to the fore included the need for distribution companies to more aggressively patronise locally manufactured metres.
A representative of the local metre manufacturers and chairman of Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited, MEMMCOL, Engr. Kola Balogun, said that access to and cost of credit has been a major impediment to the growth of their production capacity in meeting present and future demands for metres.
In a communique they later released, the local manufacturers assured Fashola of their readiness to support the rapid roll-out of metres but urged government to put in place clearer incentives for local production as opposed to importation of metres.
The parties at the meeting also agreed to continuous engagement among stakeholders in the power sector in line with the government policy of rapid roll-out of metres, while promoting local manufacturing, employment generation and technological development in the country.
Some of the local metre manufacturers who attended the meeting include the Executive Secretary of the Electricity Metres Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, EMMAN, Mr. Muideen Ibrahim; Vice Chairman of UNISTAR Hi-Tech Systems Limited, Mr. Atilade Bolarinwa; the Electricity Metre Company Nigeria, EMCON, represented by Alhaji Mukhtar Lawal, as well as the Executive Director (Resources) of MOJEC International , Mr. Akeem Balogun.