115 firms seek to close 4.7 million metering gap
The number of companies seeking to become meter asset providers in the Nigeria electricity supply industry has risen to 115, as over 4.7 million electricity customers remain unmetered.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission said in a document obtained by our correspondent that a total of 115 firms had been granted ‘No Objection’ as of November 22, 2018 from 101 on October 17.
According to NERC, out of the 8,292,840 registered electricity customers, only 3,591,168(about 43 per cent) had been metered as of the end of August 2018.
Following the recent introduction of the Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018, the regulator in April invited interested investors to apply for ‘No Objection’ to enable them to participate in the meter procurement process to be conducted by electricity distribution companies.
In May, NERC gave its nod to 22 firms as prospective meter asset providers following the introduction of the MAP Regulations.
The MAP regulations, which introduced another class of operators in the power sector called meter asset providers, is expected to eliminate estimated billing practice, attract private investment into the provision of metering services, and close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll-out.
The regulations came into effect on April 3, 2018 and all the 11 Discos are required to commence the procurement process of engaging meter asset providers to serve their service areas in accordance with an approved roll-out plan.
According to the regulations, the distribution licensees (Discos) and the MAPs shall enter into a metering service agreement, which shall provide for the number of meters to be installed by MAP in the distribution licensee’s network over an agreed period and the recovery of the cost of meter asset plus a reasonable return over a period of 10 years, among others.
The National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday that the total number of consumers with prepaid meters increased by 2.36 per cent to 1.65 million customers in the third quarter of this year from 1.62m customers in Q2 2018.
“Abuja Disco has the highest number of customers metered. This is closely followed by Benin Disco and Ibadan Disco while Yola Disco recorded the least total number of customers metered,” it added.