By Raji Rasak
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Thursday said the Federal Government had concluded plans to involve more Nigerians in meter manufacturing.
Fashola spoke while inspecting the National Meter Test Station in Oshodi, Lagos.
He said that the measure would reduce the pressure on Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on meter supply.
“The core business of DISCOs is to transport energy; their business is not to supply meters.
“The government will address metering more vigorously this year with regulations which will open up business in metering to more investors.
“This will reduce the pressure on DISCOs so that they can concentrate more on their core business.
“So, we will open up the business to other people who want to play in the sector once the meter regulations are completed this year,” he said.
Fashola said that Nigeria’s meter journey from 1950 showed that consumers depend on meters from foreign countries.
“We have seen Nigeria’s meter journey; the meters from 1950 to date, meters from Greece, Japan, Britain and China. This has shown that how our industry totally depends on meters from foreign countries.
“But now, we are beginning to see meters from local manufacturers like Mojec and Moman; that is a good place to be.
“At present, we have over 100 million telephone subscribers in Nigeria, but let me ask you, how many telephones are made in Nigeria?
“We spend millions of naira to buy telephone from China and still we will go back and borrow money from China.
“So, we want to change that in the meter industry; we are happy that some Nigerians are manufacturing meter in Nigeria and we promise to support them,” he said.
He added that the National Meter Test, under Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency (NEMSA) was to test the accuracy of meters before installation.
According to him, the accuracy tests are in two steps, so that the DISCOs will not cheat consumers and consumers do not cheat DISCOs.
The minister reiterated the FG’s plan to roll out meters to Nigerian consumers soon.
He said: “We plan to roll out meters, and we must”.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEMSA and Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, Mr Peter Ewesor, said all meters being used by the DISCOs passed through the centre before installation.
According to him, it is not possible for the meters that passed through the centre to shortchange consumers.