The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Tuesday ordered the 11 power distribution companies to engage the services of the recently approved independent Meter Asset Providers in order to effectively bridge the over 4.74 million metering gap in the country.
It stated that beginning from April 3, this year, when the 2018 Meter Asset Provider Regulation becomes effective, power distributors were expected to engage the services of the MAPs within 120 days.
The agency also confirmed an exclusive report by The PUNCH on Tuesday on the non-availability of free meters, with NERC stressing that power consumers would have to pay for the meters to be provided by the MAPs.
The Chairman, National Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, Tomi Akingbogun, had told our correspondent that power users were ready to pay for meters as captured in the 2018 MAPR, since there were no free meters after all.
“The truth is that the tariff that we currently pay already contains a cost element for a meter that is believed to have been given to the customer free of charge. But you and I know that many customers cannot even get meters, not to talk of accessing it free of charge. But with this regulation, that charge is going to be removed from the tariff and shifted to the MAPs,” Akingbogun had said.
In documents obtained in Abuja on Tuesday, the power sector regulator made it clear that the relationship between the independent meter providers and the Discos would be guided by the 2018 MAPR and other regulations in the industry.