Nigerian government orders DisCos to resume free meter distribution

The Federal Government has issued directions to the electricity distribution companies (discos) to resume the Meter Assets Providers programme (MAP), recently slowed down by the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

Although the program (DisCos’ MAP) has been ongoing for years now, the NMMP programme under the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was introduced in 2020 to close the massive gap in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

While the MAP program had barely reached 400, 000 homes in 2020, FG’s NMMP intervention in its infancy stage succeeded in reaching over 800,000 homes.

Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Garuba Sanusi, last week disclosed that the Federal Government’s NMMP was scheduled to commence in August, and as a result, DisCos have been instructed to recommence the MAP program in its full capacity.

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“By the end of August, meters from local manufacturers will be deployed by the DisCos. As a result, DisCos have been ordered to re-open the MAP, and customers are advised to take advantage of the window to purchase theirs if they cannot wait for the free meters,” he said.

He disclosed that 45 local metre manufacturers were currently in the race to get the nod of approval for the FG’s meter providers’ programme.

“Names of winners of the bid rounds will be announced as soon as the process is completed,” he said.

Phase 1 of the NMMP is expected to reach four million households.

National President, Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, Barr Chijioke James as disclosed to The PUNCH, said that the DisCos needed to take their responsibilities more seriously.

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He said, “Customers have been paying for their meters even when it is Discos’ responsibility to meter every consumer. Even when most consumers pay, it takes some time to be allocated with meters. This is despite the presidential directive on mass production of meters and distribution nationwide to consumers. We believe Discos need to wake up to their responsibility in the power sector.”.

Metering Expert and Accountant, Sesan Okunade, said that NERC should not have stopped the MAP program from running in the first place.

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