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Prepaid Meters

MAP: NERC to flag off enforcement of new metering rule from April

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…Nigerians hail policy, says best thing to happen in sector

Out of fear that power distribution companies (Discos) may technically frustrate the effective take off of the new policy of Meter Asset Providers (MAP) Regulations, 2018, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will on April 3, commence the enforcement of the policy that seeks to bridge the widening metering gap in the electricity supply industry.

Before now, the job of metering Nigerian electricity consumers had been that of the Discos, but government and the regulator may have come to the discovery that from the look of things, Discos are not willing to meter Nigerians, rather they prefer to bleed consumers via estimated billings.

This is coming as almost all the electricity distribution companies have refused to comment on the new regulation from NERC, which is aimed at developing independent and competitive meter services in the power sector.

Currently, the country’s metering gap in Nigeria has grossed to about 4.74 million and millions of consumers who are yet to access prepaid meters see the MAP policy as a panacea for meter unavailability.

Several consumers who spoke to our correspondents welcomed the new deal and called for faster and seamless operations of the MAP operators to avoid the horrible experiences gotten from Discos on meter procurement.

The MAPR 2018, with Regulation No. NERC-R-112, said “The provisions of these regulations shall be enforced by the commission from the 3rd day of April, 2018.”

The regulator had earlier last week announced to Nigerians that Discos have lost the disturbing monopoly of being the sole source of prepaid meters, saying the introduction of a new regulation that brought another class of operators in the power sector called Meter Asset Providers.

The NERC Commissioner in charge of Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, had explained that the MAPs would now take up the duty of providing meters to customers, among other functions.

He said the main objective of the regulations was to provide standard rules to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services in the electricity supply industry and eliminate estimated billing.

In his further submission, he revealed that other objectives are to attract private investments to the provision of metering services, close the metering gap through accelerated meter rollout, and enhance revenue assurance in the power sector.

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