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FG: Electricity Consumers To Start Getting Meters Before Payment

Valentine Chinyem

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Nathan Shatti, Commissioner of Finance and Management Services at the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says electricity consumers will be able to purchase prepaid meters before making a payment from August 1. Shatti made this disclosure to Punch Newspapers at the sideline of a press briefing in Lagos.

He explained that the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme has two payment options— an upfront payment and a post-payment alternative.

Based on his explanation, customers will be able to pay in instalments through a monthly service charge fee, for between one to 10 years.

He noted that the initiative began with the former ‘for obvious reasons.’ Shatti also revealed that the scheme which was supposed to fully kick off in May was delayed by some documentation hitches.

“Currently, we have asked or encouraged the MAPs to concentrate on the upfront payment for obvious reasons. The payment by instalment is scheduled to commence on August 1, 2019,” he informed. Shatti stated that Discos have given MAPs designated areas and meter rollout plans for those areas,

“MAPs will then determine the type of meter the customer needs and the customer will decide how long (the period) he/she plans to pay for the metering services.

“After confirming the type of meter and period of repayment, the MAP will install meters across the whole area in an organised and systematic manner – no exception, all customers without meters in those areas must be metered by the MAP,” Shatti explained.

Speaking on the delayed takeoff of the MAP scheme, the NERC commissioner said, “Although the installations did not commence immediately across the country as anticipated, due to the need to finalize some documentations and also mobilize the supply of meters, I am happy to report that the installations of meters have now commenced across various Disco franchise areas.”

The directive setting out the creation of the MAP scheme was made in April 2018.

It was aligned with a mandate to all distribution companies, who failed to carry out customer enumeration before buying electricity supply assets from the defunct National Electricity Power Authority (NEPA), to do so.

Under the MAP scheme, companies known as MAP, will take the burden of meter role out from the distribution companies and supply the equipment to customers, after receiving clearance from the Discos.