New Meter Regulation Will Address Meter Shortfall & Estimated Bills- FG
Corporate Offices of the Ministry of Power, Works & Housing soon to Run on Solar
By Maxwell Ogbodo and Raph Kesiena
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has assured that Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, would soon unveil a new electricity metering regulation geared towards addressing the challenge of meter shortage in the power sector and thereby eliminate estimated billing for good.
Answering questions from members of the Civil Society Groups and other stakeholders in the sector during its Power Sector Recovery Programme interactive meeting in Abuja, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, said the new metering plan would create Meter Asset Licencees with sole responsibilities to provide meters for customers.
He also said the ministry has saved government N119 billion court judgment responsibility which he explained will be converted to credit scheme for the supply of meters. And in order to show deep interest and leadership in the area of renewable energy, the Minister informed the meeting that he had directed that the corporate offices of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing should be on solar.
“Today, we have 7000MW,” he said, “but selling only 5000MW which is the reality and our discussion should be how to connect to the 2000MW. We have therefore defined PSRP that it is the very thing that is troubling power and all is being dealt with in the recovery programme.
“We have identified the liquidity issue and payment of debt owed by the federal government, we have also identified and verified it and FEC has approved. And we have told the DisCos to go back to the state governments because the remaining debts are owed at states and local government levels.
In a response, Dr Moses Arigu, NERC Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, said the commission had held several consultations with stakeholders. He said: “On the tariff, we had consultations across the country in 2017 and what we did was not really reviewing the tariff for increment but to review the processes to see how it can be improved.”
According to him, NERC, had conducted town hall meetings in South-west, adding: “We are currently planning to hold about 9 town hall meetings across the country and also expects all the DISCOs to organize their town hall meetings with NERC representatives participating.
The engagement which included a PSRP Team presentation on the journey so far highlighted the objectives and achievements as well as the way forward, was attended by civil society organisations from various parts of the nation.