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Effective Metering Critical To Power Sector Development

Metering is very important to the development of the power sector as it will help distribution companies (DisCos) to make more money, improve their facilities, buy more electricity from generating companies (GenCos) and give more power to Nigerians. The Federal Government is committed to metering Nigerians to achieve all these, the Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman, pledged during a tour of Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL) factory in Ogun State.

Effective metering will remain key to driving the power sector to the desired level and the Federal Government is committed to improving the sector with active metering that will meet consumers’ demands and address the sector’s liquidity challenges, among others, the Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman, has said.

Mamman stated this during a tour of Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL) factory in Ogun State.

The minister said he was there to see things for himself and establish the company’s capacity to meet metering demands.

According to him, effective metering is the best option in helping distribution companies (DisCos) get more money to pay generating companies for the power they (DisCos) buy.

“Metering is one of the things bothering electricity consumers, so when I took over as the minister, I took metering as my priority and as one of the important areas to ensure electricity market liquidity and sustainability. We have to produce meter to get more money for the sector. We will get more money from distribution companies to pay GenCos. That is the only way to do to justify that, is go by metering. That is why I am here to see it and believe it and to also direct on how consumers can get meter soonest,” he said.

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Fielding questions from reporters, Mamman said: “I am here to inspect the factory of Momas Meter Manufacturing Company because I don’t believe in sitting in the office and be listening to stories. I want to see things for myself and today 1 am convinced that we have a Nigerian company that has the capacity and capability to close the metering gap in the country.

“This has now encouraged me to also tell our local companies that have the capacity to produce meters that are expected and required in-country, to do so.”

He commended the management of MEMMCOL for building such a standard meter manufacturing company that also meets the Meter Assets Providers (MAPs) specification.

“I am also very impressed with the local content initiatives of Momas as I can see a 100 per cent Nigerian company producing up to 1,000 meters per day. This is indeed commendable. Momas is one of the top meter manufactures in Nigeria that we should be proud of.

“We should allow and encourage investors into the country and also give consideration to our own local manufacturers to grow.”

The Chairman of MEMMCOL, Mr. Kola Balogun, said his company has the capacity to produce above 50,000 smart meters per month if given the support by the government and adequate patronage from electricity distribution companies.

Balogun commended the minister for inspecting his facility, and assured him that the company will continue to produce qualityw and standard meters that meet international best standard. “I want to tell Nigerians that we have the capacity and the capability to deliver metering solutions and to also bridge the metering gap in the country.

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“All we need is government’s intervention by making funds available to us (manufacturers) to be able to produce for the larger populace that requires metering. One of the major challenges we face is funding, because the DisCos also need recapitalisation, adequate funding to buy sufficient meters for consumers,” he said.

On MAPs scheme, Balogun said due to liquidity and insufficient fund, coupled with lack of single digit interest rate from the financial institutions, it is a serious challenge to meet metering requirements of consumers. This is a problem meter providers face.

He appealed to the government to ensure that local content is entrenched as a policy in the power sector and to compel MAP licensees to comply with local content policy. He urged the government upscale the 30 per cent local content provision in the MAP initiative to 70 per cent to give local meter manufacturers opportunities to attract investors.

“We can increase our meter production shift from one to three shifts to meet the metering gaps if given the opportunities and patronage,” Balogun said, pleading with the government for an enabling regulation that will enhance support for locally produced smart meters and products. He said the government needed to invest heavily in the sector and, through its regulatory authorities, ascertain that the products meet international standards.

Source: The Nation

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