THE federal government will soon introduce a new metering regulation that will bring more meter manufacturers and suppliers into the sub-sector. Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, said the regulation would rid the sector of unprofessional practices by revoking the licences of individuals and companies that install meters wrongly.
Fashola said the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission, NERC, will introduce the regulation in the next few months. He said despite privatisation, the sector is stll highly regulated, adding that the new regulation will simplify activities, such as manufacturing and supply of meters.
Speaking on the sidelines of the tour of facilities of the National Meter Test Station in Oshodi, Lagos, Fashola said the decision of the government was informed by the need to bridge the gap between metered and unmetered customers and improve the fortunes of the sector. The tour was aimed at examining the qualities of the facilities.
According to him, the issue will help to solve metering problems. “The regulation would enable more people to participate in the metering sub-sector of the power industry, thereby ensuring availability of meters in the sector. More Nigerians would have access to meters by the end of 2018. Metering is a major problem, which the sector has been battling with for years and the government is working hard to remove the bottlenecks inherent in the supply and distribution of meter,” he said.
Fashola said the regulation would ensure that local manufacturers develope and compete well with their counterparts abroad. The idea is to discourage importation of meters in the future. The minister said the government would not want the power sub-sector to experience changes similar to that of telecoms.
The telecom industry, Fashola said, is flooded with over 100million phones from China, adding the Chinese government is happy because it is making more money from Nigeria. He regretted that Nigeria is going back to China for aids and loans after failing to develop its economy well.
“We, the (government), do not want this kind of thing to happen in the metering sub-sector. We are happy that some Nigerians have put their feet down to produce meters and coupled with the new metering regulation that would soon be introduced in the electricity industry, the sky is the limit for the sector.”
Fashola said more emphasis would be placed on certification of meters by the National Meter Testing Stations, Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA, and other relevant institutions.
He said metering is much more complex as it involves accuracy, safety and other tests. He said he inspected meters, such as Maximum Demand Meters, MDM, pre-paid meters, analogue meters and others, to determine their effectiveness bearing the health of the users in mind.
– Jan. 19, 2018 @ 09:40 GMT