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FG fumes over fast-running prepaid meters, set to sanction accomplices

In view of surging complaints of high-speed prepaid meters by consumers who recently installed theirs, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), has sounded a note of warning to meter manufacturers.

Business Hilights recalls that that had been rising complaints by consumers about meters reading faster than the expected calibrated rate especially amongst some named Discos (names with held).

In the warning, the Federal Government made it clear that meter producers, who connive with Meter Access providers (MAPs) and Discos to give their customers doctored meters or engage in sharp practices to cheat unsuspecting consumers, risk jail term and revocation of licence.

Though the Federal agency had in the past debunked claims of substandard meters in the country, the rise in complains forced the agency to step up meter manufacturing surveillance amongst MAPs and conniving Discos.

While claiming that many meter manufacturers can no longer engage in sharp practices because of its strict enforcement activities, NEMSA Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ewesor, assured that the agency would henceforth beam its searchlight on issues of deliberate production of fraudulent prepaid meters in Nigeria.

Speaking in Lagos at an induction training to build the capacities of meter supervising engineers in the agency, he made it clear that “The sanction level we have at this stage is to ensure that we do not allow bad meters to go into the system. We will get to the stage of the kind of sanction when a manufacturer has completely refused to change and in any case, it is difficult for you to engage in unscrupulous activities because you cannot deploy the meters if they have not been tested and certified.”

On why NEMSA is embarking on training of its supervisory engineers, Ewesor noted that “We are doing this because we want our people to be on top of the game, because without adequate knowledge, they will not be able to deliver. We are here to ensure that our staff can do some of the activities we engage the services of expatriates to do for us and this is why we brought the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) expert to train our people so that we use the machines we use to test meters in the country.”