Strong indications have emerged as to plans by federal government to expand local meter manufacturing capacity which would possibly end meter importation into the country.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola gave this hint in Lagos when he disclosed plans by government to open up business to involve more Nigerians in meters manufacturing.
Fashola while inspecting the National Meter Test Station in Oshodi, Lagos, observed that metering is a big issue and government hope to address it more vigorously this year with regulations that will open up the business to many more Nigerians.
He said that this 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.
The Minister said that Nigeria meter journey from 1950 showed that consumers depended on meters from foreign countries.
“We have seen Nigeria meter journey, the meter from 1950 to date, meters from Greece, Japan, Britain and China, this has shown that how our industry totally depend 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 100million telephone subscribers in Nigeria, but let me ask you, how many telephones are made in Nigeria?
“We spent 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 meter industry, we are happy that some Nigerians are manufacturing meter in Nigeria and we promise to support them,” he said.
He said the National Meter Test which was 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 don’t cheat DISCOs and you are safe.
The Minister reiterated FG plan to roll out meters to Nigeria consumers.
“We plan to roll out meters, and we must,” he said.
The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of NEMSA and Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation. Engr Peter Ewesor said all meters using by the DISCOs passed through the centre before installation.
According to the Managing Director, it is not possible for the meters that passed through the centre to sort change consumers.