The Federal Government has been urged to grant approval to indigenous companies to sell prepaid meters directly to customers in order to bridge the huge metering gap in the country.
Chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL), Mr. Kola Balogun, who made the call in an interview with newsmen in Lagos, yesterday, lamented the bureaucratic bottlenecks electricity consumers go through to purchase prepaid meters from distribution companies (DISCOs).
“There are some people who cannot wait until the DisCos install meters in their premises. They have their money and want to buy meters but they are passing through a lot of bureaucracy in the hands of the DisCos. Many consumers are frustrated about the estimated billing system and want to get their meters as soon as possible. We have people who have made payments for meters but have not been metered because of various issues,” he said.
Balogun said to resolve the crisis, the government should select a few tested and trusted manufacturers that have the capacity and endorse them to sell prepaid meters directly to customers. “We, as manufacturers want NERC to give us the room to sell directly to consumers who will take it to electricity Distribution Companies for installation. They can grant them licences just like banks, telecommunications and insurance companies. It is as simple as that because there is no meter that we produce that doesn’t meet the standard of Nigeria.
“So, if all our locally manufactured meters meet the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) certification, consumers can buy them and take them to the DisCos. This will fast track the metering process. It will be a win win because it will not only close the metering gap and shore up revenue efficiency of the DisCos, but will also create huge employment opportunities for Nigerians.”
Balogun commended the Federal Government for the successful completion of the Phase Zero of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) and the support given to local meter manufacturers. He said the companies were prepared for the commencement of the second phase and were working to ensure that the meters comply with the 4G network requirements of the government.