From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Following the discontentment raised by the recent increase in the price of electricity meters, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has clarified that it adjusted the price to protect consumers from arbitrary pricing of Meter Asset Providers (MAP) in case of changes in macroeconomic parameters affecting the cost of production.
It explained that consumers are at liberty to choose National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) where they may not pay directly for the meters or go for Meter Asset Providers (MAP) where they could pay directly to the providers and collect their meters.
According to the commission, the NMMP is an intervention by the Federal Government supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concessionary loans to the distribution companies (DisCos) designed to provide all electricity consumers with meters.
But following the slow process of the policy in the distribution of the commodity, the government licensed companies to manufacture, sell and install directly to consumers.
‘We wish to reiterate that the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) designed to provide all consumers of electricity with meters is a policy intervention of the Federal Government, supported by CBN concessionary loans to DisCos
‘This laudable initiative is very much on course. A total of 900, 000 units of the meters have so far been installed under the takeoff phase of the scheme without any payment of the benefiting consumers. While this doesn’t cover many of the unmetered customers, we are pleased to inform electricity consumers that the next phase under which 4 million units of meters would be procured from the meter manufacturers has commenced.
‘We once again, state that under this National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), consumers would not be required to pay directly for the meters.
‘Pending the conclusion of the NMMP procurement process and the commencement of manufacturers/installation, consumers may elect to acquire a meter immediately from Meter Asset Providers (MAP).
‘The regulatory framework approved by the commission under the MAP/NMMP regulations provide for the refund of the cost of the meter through energy credits to the customers at the time of vending.
‘The recently issued notice by the commission on the adjusted cost of meters is designed to protect consumers from arbitrary pricing of any MAP in the context of recent changes in macroeconomic parameters affecting the cost of production,’ the Commission stated.
On November 11, NERC approved a review of the price of electricity meters because of foreign exchange and inflation changes.
While the price of a single-phase meter rises from N44, 896.17 to N58,661.69, a three-phase meter will now go for N109, 684.36 as against N82,855.19.