By John Ikani
The Federal Government yesterday said that it had concluded arrangements to commence the second phase of its National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) which it expects to drastically reduce estimated billing by the Distribution Companies (Discos).
The Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the government had concluded arrangements for the commencement of the second phase of the programme.
Zakari described the programme which is being funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as “unprecedented”, saying that it had led to the supply of meters to many Nigerian homes for free.
He said the programme would ensure that consumers were billed appropriately for the electricity they consumed through the installation of free meters in unmetered households and business premises.
The statement read in part, “In preparation for the second phase (known as Phase 1) of the NMMP, the Nigerian electricity sector regulator has conducted extensive consultations and stakeholder management, and has revised its metering guidelines.
“This phase will provide up to four million meters and shall also use a similar financing mechanism as phase zero.”
“The first phase, tagged ‘Phase 0’ was launched later than expected in December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a target of 1 million meters across the country and has yielded about 750,000 meters nationwide in about eight month,” the statement said.
“This is a marked improvement in terms of the speed of installation of meters compared to its predecessor (the Meter Asset Provider-MAP programme) which recorded 350,000 meter installations in just over 18 months. Essentially the Nigerian meter industry has increased local installation capacity by a multiple of five.
“In preparation for the second phase (known as Phase 1) of the NMMP, the Nigerian electricity sector regulator, NERC, has conducted extensive consultations and stakeholder management, and has revised its metering guidelines. This phase will provide up to 4 million meters and shall also use a similar financing mechanism as phase 0,” Zakari noted.
According to him, one of the key successes of the NMMP initiative is how rapidly it has increased private sector interest in investing in the local meter assembly, manufacturing and installation space.
In addition, he said that there are now new meter factories in Lagos and in Kaduna, while the refurbishment of a number of other defunct metering companies are ongoing.