The Federal Government says it has taken advantage of the new Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulations to give a grant of N37billion to a private sector operator to supply meters to interested Distribution Companies (DisCos).
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this at the 28th monthly meeting of power stakeholders in Kaduna.
The Meeting, hosted by Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company at the Mando transmission substation, had in attendance representatives of government power agencies and private operators across the value chain of Generation, Transmission and Distribution.
The minister, who did not mention the name of the company, said the Federal government provided the fund based on the demand for meters, given the increasing power generation, transmission and distribution in the country.
He said, “As power supply continues to increase in Generation, Transmission and Distribution, the demand for meters will increase because more power supply and consumption will likely result in increased bills.
“Estimated billings in these circumstances will become a major cause of distrust and conflict between consumers and DisCos, and meters are the easiest way to build the bridge of trust.
“On the Executive side of government, we are responding by taking advantage of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulations to deploy a fund of N37 billion toward supplying meters through private sector.
“I urge all DisCos who have not taken advantage of this opportunity to quickly do so, or make their own funding arrangements to contract their own meter providers to supply and install meters.
“I know that Yola DisCo is talking to the meter asset provider for 400, 000 meters. I know that Abuja DisCo is also indicating interest for 250,000 meters.
“I know that other meter asset providers are also talking to various banks and funding organisations to see how they can get into this business and get licensed by NERC.”
He also said there was a clear intension of the legislative arm of government toward addressing the issue of meter in the sector.
The minister said it was important for all DisCos to respond by providing meters and quickly end estimated billing, which was subjective, discretionary, and prone to abuse.