As consumers grapple with high electricity bills across the states, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday, introduced a new policy that may worsen their plight.
The latest regulation which came into effect on March 8, 2018 and will be enforced by the Commission from April 3, 2018, is aimed at providing standard rules to “encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services, eliminate estimated billing practices, attract private investment to the provision of metering services in NESI, and close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll out to enhance revenue in NES.
According to NERC’s Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, prepaid meters will soon flood the market with the licensing of 87 meter asset providers (MAPs).But those who will get the new meters under the new regulation will have to pay more.
Akpeneye who spoke with newsmen in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said MAPs will be independent providers who will be approved by NERC but contracted by the DisCos to bridge the metering gap.
“They are to be saddled with the responsibility of providing meters and replacing faulty devices within 48 hours,” he said.
In Section 10 (5) of the new law, which contains the new provision, an analysis of the Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018 (Regulation No NERC-R-112) shows that those who benefit under the new system will pay a monthly service charge. Under chapter IV, section 10 (“Rights of Distribution Licensees”), subsection 5, the regulation states: “The Distribution Licensees shall include a metering service charge as a clear item on the billing of its customers provided with meters under an MSA with MAPs and shall be separate from the energy charge. The metering service charge shall be based on the outcome of the procurement process for the MAP and subject to the approval of the Commission.”
Meanwhile, the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), has predicted a growth of up to 100,000 megawatts electricity generation in the country by 2030.
ECN’s Director-General, Professor Eli Bala, disclosed this in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja.
Bala said that the projection would be possible with an annual economic growth rate of 7 per cent and steady implementation of the national energy plan by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
“With the incremental power programme, every time, every year, we must have increment in power generation.
“We will also increase our capacity to transmit as well as the capacity to distribute.
“So I think we are on course, although it is not easy.
“Very soon, we will get to a level where we will have a 100,000 megawatt or 100 gigawatt by 2030 and the economy growing at the rate of about 7 per cent annually,” he said.