Govt may allow customers acquire meters from any manufacturer – Adelabu

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In a bid to hasten up the metering programme of the Federal Government, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has said customers may be allowed to buy their meters from any accredited manufacturer.

 Adelabu, who spoke during a recent visit to Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited, Ibafo, Ogun State, revealed the government’s plans to close the electricity metre gap in the next five years and stop the controversies around estimated billing.

 Adelabu noted that the Federal Government, through its Presidential Metering Initiative, planned to install at least two million metres a year for the next five years.

The According reports that about eight million of the country’s 13 million electricity consumers had yet to be metered, giving room for over-billing of unmetered customers by the electricity distribution companies.

 “We have a presidential metering initiative that has the plan of installing minimum of two million to 2.5 million meters on a yearly basis, for the next five years, to close the huge metre gap in the power sector.

“Even if we cannot close the metre gap 100 per cent, because of new connections, we must reduce it significantly,” he stated.

Adelabu, who was conducted around the factory by the Chairman of MEMMCOL, Kola Balogun, remarked that the government would consider multiple options to close the meters gap.

During the facility tour, Balogun proposed to the minister that individual customers should be allowed to buy their prepaid meters from manufacturers of their choice instead of waiting endlessly to have the products supplied by distribution companies.

According to the chairman of MEMMCOL, when a customer buys the meter, it will be taken to the DisCo for configuration.

He added that a consumer could also transfer its metre from one DisCo to another if there was the need to do so.

Speaking to newsmen on the matter, Adelabu noted, “It is one of the options we have on the table, and we are going to enter into discussion with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission as well as the DisCos to see what we can do to fast track or accelerate our metre acquisition plans.

“The metering gap is too huge at eight million, so all hands must be on deck, and there must be multiple options for us to be able to ramp up on the number of meters we want to install to reduce the gap. So, it is a possibility.

 “After discussing with them (NERC and DisCos), we can actually agree that individual power consumers can buy electricity metres on their own from approved or accredited manufacturers.”

Currently, a customer can only buy a prepaid electricity meter through the power distribution companies.

 But there have been complaints of delays in supply after the customers must have paid for the product.

Balogun held that this would be eliminated the moment individuals were allowed to buy the metre themselves and get it configured by their power distributors.

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