It was gathered that some senior officials of power distribution companies met with the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday and funds were released for the purpose of mass metering in Nigeria.
The amount released was not made public. However, The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Monday that the Federal Government would spend between N269.38bn and N497.13bn for the provision of the six million free meters to various unmetered power users.
The Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Ernest Mupwaya, confirmed the release of funds for the mass deployment of meters in Abuja on Tuesday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the free mass metering programme for power users served by the AEDC, Mupwaya said the initiative had been designed with sufficient resources to meter all customers.
He said, “The Federal Government, who has 40 per cent shareholding, have sourced sufficient funding to support Discos through a low-interest shareholder loan that will make it possible for Discos to receive sufficient meters to close the metering gap for good.”
He noted that over the years, the AEDC had embarked on various metering initiatives that resulted in the metering of over 300,000 customers.
“Currently, with the ‘flag-off’ of this national free mass metre programme, AEDC will receive a total of 900,000 meters, at the cost of N23bn, which will be sufficient to meter all customers including replacement of defective meters,” Mupwaya said.
He stated that between now and December 2021, AEDC had planned to install over 101,000 meters at a cost of N6bn without charging customers.
According to him, the rest of the meters would be installed 18 months after, through a comprehensive rollout programme that would result in simultaneous installations in all three states of Niger, Kogi and Nassarawa, in addition to Federal Capital Territory.
Mupwaya stated that the metering of customers had a huge positive implication, not only to the electricity industry but to the entire economy in a number of ways.
He said massive metering would create jobs through installation and inspection of meters.
He added that massive metering would improve the transparency in electricity transaction and result in increased revenues that could be channeled into service improvement.