The Federal Government says it will provide up to 4 million meters to Nigerians in the second phase of its National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

A statement from the office of the Special Adviser on Infrastructure to the President, Ahmad Zakari, said arrangements to commence the metering process have been completed. The move is expected to drastically reduce estimated billing by the Distribution Companies (Discos).

The statement noted that the next phase of the initiative will ensure consumers are billed appropriately for the electricity they consume by installing meters free of charge in households and business premises that are currently unmetered.

The government said the mass metering programme, funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is “unprecedented” because it has led to the supply of meters to many Nigerian homes.

The first phase of the initiative, tagged ‘Phase 0’, was launched in December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a target of 1 million meters across the country.

The statement claimed, however, that it has led to the distribution of about 750,000 meters nationwide in about eight months.

“This is a marked improvement in terms of the speed of installation of meters compared to its predecessor (the Meter Asset Provider-MAP programme) which recorded 350,000 meter installations in just over 18 months. Essentially the Nigerian meter industry has increased local installation capacity by a multiple of five,” Mr Zakari said.

“In preparation for the second phase (known as Phase 1) of the NMMP, the Nigerian electricity sector regulator, NERC, has conducted extensive consultations and stakeholder management, and has revised its metering guidelines. This phase will provide up to 4 million meters and shall also use a similar financing mechanism as phase 0.”

The statement said that there are new meter factories in Lagos and in Kaduna, while the refurbishment of a number of other defunct metering companies is ongoing. It said: “This development in the meter assembly space is driven by the Central Bank’s commitment to support local meter assembly/manufacturing as only local companies will be allowed to participate in the bidding process for the upcoming phase of the programme.

 “This promises to increase the job creation impact of the programme which has already attained appreciable heights with over 10,000 direct jobs created as a result of the phase 0 of the program.”

The statement explained that the Minister of Power Mamman Kwagymang Saleh had emphasised the administration’s commitment to eliminate the metering gap by 2023, adding that the continuation of the NMMP is in line with the Federal Government’s agreement with organised labour on electricity sector reform.

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