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New 20 meter manufacturers underway
To boost local capacity, the Federal Government has issued fresh licenses to 20 new local meter manufacturers in preparation for the next phase of the government’s free four million metering programme. The development came about eight months after the free metering initiative was meant to begin. Following the completion of the Phase zero which saw the distribution of one million free metres For defaulting on the terms of their licences, the Federal Government has revoked titles of 3,402 mining companies. The disclosure was made by the Director General of Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Mr Obadiah Nkom, during a State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team on Thursday in Abuja. Nkom said NMCO revoked the mining rights of companies that were not using their licences. He also disclosed that the NMCO generated over N3.7 billion in 2022.
He said, “And, we are very transparent; if you need the Certified True Copy of any document, an application belonging to anybody or any license or whatever, the law permits us to give it to you. “Because anything we are doing can be a subject to litigation; like we said, in terms of revoked titles, recently, we published a list of defaulters numbering 3,032 and we have revoked titles of 3,402. “And, we equally have people that have grants; they have been communicated, but when you cancel it, you see lawyers writing us about following the provisions. Nkom also said that some applicants who applied for licenses were yet to collect them, and that these defaulters be gazetted before action would be taken.
, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari, said the next phase would begin in the second quarter of the year as against last year August. He said, “We have licensed 20 local meter manufacturers to assemble the meters locally, and the programme should start this first quarter… before March.” According to him, funding has already been secured from the World Bank. “President Muhammadu Buhari withheld some funding that was available from the World Bank for a short period to allow us to restructure the Discos and we have a World Bank facility that will fund another 1.25 million metres. “So, what I would say is we know the gap when we started was about 9.8 million metres. One million has been done during the first phase of the National Mass Metering Programme.