FG Approves N21bn For Provision of Free Meters To Close Metering Gap

The Federal Government has approved a substantial sum of N21 billion under the Presidential Metering Initiative.

The government says the  initiative is aimed at addressing the country’s metering gap by providing meters at no cost to unmetered power users. 

This was  announced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) through an order, numbered NERC/2024/072, titled “Order on the Operationalisation of ‘Tranche A’ of the Meter Acquisition Fund.”

In its announcement, the NERC emphasized that the Meter Acquisition Fund (MAF) scheme would expedite the deployment of meters, thus reducing the commercial and collection losses faced by power distribution companies (Discos). 

The NERC said the  initiative is expected to enhance the quality of service and improve overall customer satisfaction.

“The funds accrued as of the April 2024 market settlement cycle and available for procurement of meters under the first tranche of the MAF scheme is in the sum of NGN21,864,851,725.

“ The commission hereby approves the use of a sum of NGN21,000,000,000 apportioned pro rata to contribution by the Discos as Tranche A of the MAF scheme,” NERC stated in the order.

The commission clarified that the allocated funds would be distributed to each Disco to facilitate the purchase of meters for end-use customers. Importantly, these meters will be provided and installed at no cost to the customers.

“This order shall become effective on June 13, 2024, and may be amended or revoked by subsequent orders issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission,” the order further stated.

To ensure the metering of power consumers, NERC had previously introduced the Meter Asset Provider Regulations in 2018, followed by the Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations in 2021. 

These regulations offered multiple options for metering customers. 

However, despite these efforts, the national metering gap, which currently exceeds seven million customers, has not been fully closed.

The  NERC added that the  scheme aims to address the creditworthiness of Discos, which has been a barrier to meter deployment in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). 

NERC noted that the funds under this scheme would be managed by a fund manager, with terms and conditions negotiated by the Discos and approved by the commission.

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