May 20, 2024
METERING: FG considers new options to deliver prepaid meters to Nigerians
ELECTRICITY TARIFF: Recharge, gain more before July 1, 2023 --- DisCos
– By Alison Godswill

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The Federal Government has started to consider options required to deliver prepaid meters to 60 per cent of consumers, whose bills are still based on estimation.

In its ‘Consultation Paper on the Review of Meter Asset Provider’ obtained by The Daily, https://thedaily-ng.com, Sanusi Garba, Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, said that the three options include, allowing the implementation of both the National Mass Metering Programme, NMMP and Meter Asset Provider, MAP metering frameworks to run concurrently, continuing with the current MAP framework with meters procured under the NMMP supplied only through MAPs (by being off-takers from the local manufacturers/assemblers); and winding down the MAP framework and allow the DisCos to procure meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers (or as procured by the WB), and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.

He said: “Under the concurrent framework all customers are expected to pay their bills without any specific reference to the metering charge. The metering component shall be embedded in the energy charge. The payment of the framework under the MAP-NMMP concurrent implementation option shall require all customers on the same tariff classification in a DisCo to pay uniform energy the tariff that includes a metering cost that would enable DisCos to recover the cost of meter and other associated expenses for the repayment of the NMMP facility and the services provided by MAP.
“The repayment of the NMMP facility would be a second line charge against DisCos’ monthly collections in accordance with the term sheet for the financing. This option recognizes the continued role of MAPs and the DisCos while strengthening the securitization of payment to MAPs through a third line charge against the DisCos’ monthly revenues. This option maintains all other provisions of the Meter Service Agreement (“MSA”) except where both parties choose to make amendments to the agreements.

“The MAPs are thus required to make arrangements for the procurement, financing, delivery and installation of meters in line with approved deployment plans and the MSA. Customers who choose not to wait to receive meters based on the deployment schedule of the NMMP shall continue to have the option of making upfront payments for meters which will be installed within a maximum period of ten working days. Such customers shall be refunded by the DisCos through energy credits.

“However, it is imperative to note that this option is an exception as all MAPs are required to deploy meters in accordance with the agreed meter roll out plan and consistent with the MAP framework. There shall be no option for meter acquisition through the payment of a monthly meter service charge. In the determination of rates payable by customers, the Commission shall take into account the blend of “cost of debt” on account of the concessionary financing to DisCos under the NMMP.”

He also said: “Response to consultation NERC has prepared this document to facilitate as open consultation as possible and has provided the merits and demerits of the proposed changes as well as the potential impact of the changes on the MAP Regulations 2018.
“Therefore, and accordance with the Business Rule of the Commission, stakeholders are expected to provide comments, objections, and representations on the proposed amendments within 21-days of this publication.

“Respondents may propose either a modification or an alternative to the proposals, assumptions, and expectations expressed by NERC for further consideration by the Commission. There will be a virtual public hearing on the proposed review at the expiration of the response period. At the end of the consultation process, the Commission will publish its decision on the proposed amendments to the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulations 2018. It shall also fix the date on which the amended Regulations shall come into effect.”

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