101 Firms Seek to Supply Prepaid Meters
The number of companies seeking to become meter asset providers in the Nigeria electricity supply industry has increased to 101.
Following the recent introduction of the Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in April invited interested investors to apply for ‘No Objection’ to enable them to participate in the meter procurement process to be conducted by electricity distribution companies.
The regulator, which initially gave its nod to 22 firms in May as prospective meter asset providers, said in a document obtained by our correspondent on Friday that a total of 101 firms had been granted ‘No Objection’ as of October 17, 2018.
Some of the firms are Huawei Technology Company Nigeria Limited, Bilview Energy Limited, Chintech Electro Nigeria Limited, Holley Metering Limited, Meron Nigeria Limited, Integrated Power Limited, MBH Power Limited, Trimani Engineering Limited, Sapropel Energy Resources Limited, Megawatt Distribution International Limited, Unistar Hi-Tech Systems Limited, and Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited.
The MAP regulations, which introduced another class of operators in the power sector called meter asset providers, is expected to eliminate estimated billing practice, attract private investment into the provision of metering services, and close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll-out.
The regulations came into effect on April 3, 2018 and all the 11 Discos are required to commence the procurement process of engaging meter asset providers to serve their service areas in accordance with an approved roll-out plan.
According to the regulations, the distribution licensees (Discos) and the MAPs shall enter into a metering service agreement, which shall provide for the number of meters to be installed by MAP in the distribution licensee’s network over an agreed period and the recovery of the cost of meter asset plus a reasonable return over a period of 10 years, among others.
The Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs at NERC, Mr Shittu Shaibu, told our correspondent in August that the Discos were already implementing the procurement of MAPs which commenced on July 1, 2018.
Shaibu had said, “As soon as they finish the procurement, they will now come to the commission for approval. We have given a ‘no objection’ certificate to more than 50 MAPs now for them to start competing. The more people you have competing, the better it is for the customers as this will help bring down the prices of the meters.
“We are expecting that by January 1, 2019, all the MAPs would have been fully in place; it might be earlier, depending on the procurement process of all the Discos. By January 1, metering is supposed to be done by MAPs.”
Out of 8,135,730 registered electricity customers, only 3,434,003 (about 42 per cent) had been metered as of the end of the first quarter of this year, according to NERC.
Based on the proposals submitted by the core investors in the Discos during the privatisation of the power firms in November 2013, about 6.52 million new meters were expected to be installed over the course of five years.
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