The federal government on Wednesday requested citizens to submit suggestions on the best path to solving the the nation’s electricity metering problem.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, said it has commenced a review of its dual plans for mass metering, and was considering three options for an optimal outcome.
The agency said it was considering how to manage its National Mass Metering Programme’ (NMMP), approved in 2020, and the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) launched in 2018.
Both seek the provision of meters for customers and an end to estimated billing that allows electricity companies exploit customers.
Under NMMP, funding for at least 1 million meters is to come from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the World Bank.
In a consultation paper released Wednesday, NERC asked the public to suggest between running MAP and NMMP concurrently, or integrating MAP into the latter.
The third option envisages bringing MAP to an end for NMMP to kickstart.
For the first plan, customers would be expected to pay their bills without being charged separately meters, as the cost will be part of energy charge.
Where meters have already been deployed electricity firms are to reimburse such customers, NERC said.
For the second plan, NERC will continue with the current MAP framework and allow meters procured under the NMMP be supplied only through MAPs (as off-takers from the local manufacturers/ assemblers).
This option recognises the existing MAP framework and may also result in faster deployment of meters on account of current traction in the MAP programme.
The final option would see the government wind down the MAP framework and allow the DisCos to procure their meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers, and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.
This option proposes the winding down of the MAP due to its incompatibility with the NMMP.
The sector regulator urged Nigerians to suggest an option and give reasons to defend their choices.
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