Mr Kola Balogun, Chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Ltd. (MEMMCOL), has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create a credit line of a single digit to meter manufacturers for effective execution of Meter Assets Providers (MAP) schemes.
Balogun, who made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, said funding was a major challenge to the execution of the projects for meter manufacturers.
“Essentially, for this scheme to be successful, we will need between N10 to N20 billion for each of the manufacturers.
“It’s a huge capital outlay, we urge the CBN to offer us the credit and also allow us to pay back in single digit interest rate.
“We, MEMMCOL are more than ready to commence because we are well prepared for it.
“It is just that for us to start execution, we still require the CBN support because of the capital outlay that is required to have efficient deployment. We need CBN to intervene,” he said.
Balogun said that meters manufacturers were at the position of negotiation in term of execution of the MAP programme with the DISCOs.
“We are just waiting for a letter of engagement and the extent of the volume we are going to be deploying.
“The capacity is there but the funding that it required is the major constraint and that is the reason why we are appealing to CBN for intervention.
“This is for providing advance credit line for meter manufacturers so that we can buy raw material ahead of time.
“The bottleneck in terms of agreement and condition also slows down the commencement of the projects; you know that there are so many variables involved, such as insurance ability to be able to support the scheme in terms of infrastructure and logistics arrangement.
“These are the things DISCOs want to ascertain before they will now concluded on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be submitted to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
“It is after the signing of the MoU that NERC will now give proper licences for the operators,’’ he said.
Balogun said that the project would be more beneficial to electricity consumers when it finally kick starts, adding that issues of estimated billing and over-billing would also be abolished.
He said that electricity consumers would pay for exactly what they consumed and they would be able to read their consumption rates without prejudice.
“Once the schemes commence, consumers will now pay into the joint MAP account that will be managed by the meter manufacturers and DISCOs under the Meter Asset Provider Scheme.
“It is expected that the scheme will commence before May; deployment of meter to customers will also commence in earnest.
“Because after the signing of the MoU, we don’t know when NERC will be able to give us the licence, roll-out schedule will be agreed upon and the mapping of the areas will be going on.
“What NERC wants to do is the totality of substation; in each substation all consumers attached to it will be metered 100 per cent in other to get exact value to the energy auditing process.
“MEMMCOL is currently present in EKO and Ibadan DISCOs and also discussing with Ikeja and Kano DISCOs. We have what it takes to commence the project, we are just waiting for execution,’’ he added.
NAN reports that NERC’s introduction of MAP is expected to become effective on April 3, 2018, which introduced meter asset providers as a new set of service providers in Nigeria electricity supply industry.
The electricity distribution companies, in line with their licencing terms and conditions, are obliged to achieve their metering targets as set by the commission under the new regulation.
It is also expected that MAP regulations will fast-track closure of metering gap in Nigeria. (NAN)