The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says it is the obligation of the distribution companies (DisCos) to ensure that consumers are provided with meters under the Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) regulations.
In a statement on Monday, the electricity regulatory body said majority of the DisCos that did not meet up the deadline for engaging the firms licensed by the organisation for the scheme will be sanctioned.
NERC was reacting to a statement credited to Sunday Oduntan, executive director, research and advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), an umbrella body of the DisCos, that its members are no longer responsible for meter availability with the introduction of the MAP scheme.
On April 3, 2018, the NERC introduced MAP to fast-track the roll-out of meters through the engagement of third-party investors for the financing, procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of electricity meters.
“The obligation to ensure that all electricity consumers are metered remains with the DisCos under Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018,” the commission said.
“This is consistent with their respective Licensing Terms and Conditions and Section 4 (1) of MAP Regulations that provides that “Distribution licensee is responsible for the achievement of metering targets as specified by the Commission from time to time.
“Furthermore, Section 4(3) of the MAP Regulations requires that all distribution licensees shall engage the services of a Meter Asset Provider(s) towards meeting the metering targets as specified by @NERCNG and in accordance with the provisions of the MAP Regulations 2018.”
The DisCos were expected to engage the licensed firms for the scheme within 120 days of coming into effect of the regulations. The deadline was fixed for July 31, 2018 but was extended to November 30, 2018 to engender more competition between potential MAPs thus providing better value for consumers.
“Several of the DisCos experienced slippage in the timeline stipulated by the Commission and this infraction is being handled in line with the enforcement regulations of the Commission,” NERC said.
“The Commission is currently reviewing the MAP procurement reports and successful Meter Asset Providers shall be announced after a meeting with the DisCos and preferred bidders scheduled to hold next week.
“The Commission wishes to reaffirm its commitment to expedite a closure of the current metering gap thus limiting the practice of estimated billing to very exceptional cases in line with the provisions of the MAP regulations.”