The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has reprimanded the Electricity Distribution Company, DISCOs, over its lukewarm attitude towards providing meters to customers.
The regulator bared its mind at a workshop on the implementation of the Meter Asset Provider, MAP regulation, in Lagos.
Speaking,NERC Chairman, Prof. James Momoh said the DISCOs are yet to make good use of the opportunities and procurement of MAP scheme.
“Since the procurement of MAP on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, none of the DISCOs has taken it up, and that is not good for the system. Currently, the metering gap of Jos, Ikeja Electric, IBEDC, Kaduna DISCOs are 500,000; 323,779; 988,785 and 396,524” Momoh noted.
The NERC boss explained that the DISCOs are also low in their disclosure and transparency, calling for full cooperation with the auditors, to agree on bankable securitization arrangement, proper planning and clear meter deployment strategy and greater transparency.
Momoh, stated that the commission was assiduously working hard to ensure that all Nigerians are metered before the end of 2020. “I think, before 2020 all Nigerian home will be metered. Let us work with the DISCOs and MAP providers.
However, there would be sanctions but not at the moment as we are working on a timeline given to DISCOs metering their customers.
“There are already classes of government subsidy to make sure that the actual cost of electricity is subsidized. Not only subsidy but there are new technologies that are cheaper and been encouraged by the government for the rural areas, which are mini-grid, etc. This business model would allow small business producers to have access to power and cheaper. Indeed we are not in that age where we say electricity is for social study, but it’s an economic business (power in- power out) and not free money” Momoh said.
On the clamour to review tariff, Momoh, explained that structures are put in place to review the tariff, saying, “The tariff change depends on many factors in terms of enumeration process ongoing of the customers and making sure that people are metered so we won’t be charging people for what is not consumed. They are also depending on the GPD of the country, and as the population is growing other structures are factored into it.
There is a timeline. Before the end of the year, we would have done the minor review of the tariff which is the first. The major is done after every five years. We are discussing and reviewing a lot of indices needed to aid a favourable tariff review.”
According to Momoh, “As assets with a technically useful life of 10-15 years, the regulation provides for the third-party financing of meters, under a permit issued by the Commission, and amortisation over a period of 10 years. “The DISCOs, in line with their licensing terms and conditions, are obliged to achieve their metering targets as set by the Commission under the new regulation. The contracting of MAP shall be through an open, transparent and competitive bid process thus ensuring that meters are provided at a least cost to electricity customers.”