Nigeria has resolved to roll out electricity metres with the involvement of local producers for mass production.
“We plan to roll out metres, and we must,” the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola said.
Fashola said the Federal Government had concluded plans to involve more Nigerians in metre manufacturing.
The minister spoke while inspecting the National Metre Test Station in Oshodi, Lagos.
He said that the measure would reduce the pressure on Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on metre supply.
“The core business of DISCOs is to transport energy; their business is not to supply metres.
“The government will address metering more vigorously this year with regulations which will open up business in metering to more investors.
“This will reduce the pressure on DISCOs so that they can concentrate more on their core business.
“So, we will open up the business to other people who want to play in the sector once the metre regulations are completed this year,” he said.
Fashola said that Nigeria’s metre journey from 1950 showed that consumers depended on metres from foreign countries.
“We have seen Nigeria’s metre journey; the metres from 1950 to date, metres from Greece, Japan, Britain and China. This has shown how our industry totally depends on metres from foreign countries.
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“But now, we are beginning to see metres from local manufacturers like Mojec and Moman; that is a good place to be.
“At present, we have over 100 million telephone subscribers in Nigeria, but let me ask you, how many telephones are made in Nigeria?
“We spend millions of naira to buy telephone from China and still we will go back and borrow money from China.
“So, we want to change that in the metre industry; we are happy that some Nigerians are manufacturing metre in Nigeria and we promise to support them,” he said.
He added that the National Metre Test, under Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency (NEMSA) was to test the accuracy of metres before installation.
According to him, the accuracy tests were in two steps, so that the DISCOs will not cheat consumers and consumers do not cheat DISCOs.
The minister reiterated the government’s plan to roll out metres to Nigerian consumers soon.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEMSA and Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, Mr. Peter Ewesor, said all metres being used by the DISCOs passed through the centre before installation.
According to him, it was not possible for the metres that passed through the centre to shortchange consumers. (NAN)