Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Electricity - FG Unveils Self Financing Metering Initiative

Seven months after the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) announced a new set of tariffs and outlawed payment for meters by customers with nothing to show for it, the commission yesterday said it was proposing a self financing alternative by customers.

In the new initiative which does not negate the previous plans, a willing customer who wished to tap into it will use his money to purchase a meter from the distribution company (disco), but would stop paying the monthly fixed charges until the meter cost is recovered.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday by the NERC chairman and chief executive, Dr Sam Amadi said "to date, records show that there are an unacceptable number of customers who are without meters. Compounding the issue is the menace of unrealistic estimated and crazy bills. This has compelled the Commission to explore alternative ways of ensuring the quicker deployment of electricity meters to customers."

He declined to mention the specific price to be paid by the customers, saying, "the price of the meter has already been captured in the MYTO".

According to him, the discos have been ordered to provide meter for customers who opt for the self financing plans within 45 days.

Meter vendors are expected to apply to the commission for prequalification and approval to ensure they comply with the metering code. The discos are now expected to make purchase from the meter vendors upon payment by a customer.

Amadi assured that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) would be notified to issue certificate of no objection to the meter vendors for easy procurement of meters.

The NERC boss also said the fixed charges for the small and medium scale businesses were being reviewed downward, saying after monitoring the economic impact of the tariff regime on different customer classes, the commission has decided to reduce the impact on the SMEs." Other component of the tariff would remain unchanged, he said.

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