By Uche Amunike
The Federal Government of Nigeria has started making plans to review prepaid meter tariffs for power consumers nationwide.
This was made known to Nigerians on Wednesday, when the Federal government confirmed that they had commenced procuring 4 million meters which are to be distributed for free to power users Nationwide who do not have meters.
It also said that the number of unmetered power consumers in Nigeria stand at 8 million adding that about 860,000 meters have been given out for free to power users under Phase zero of the National Mass Monitoring Programme.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, it was revealed, will on Wednesday, review the country’s power tariffs by next month, bearing any unforeseen circumstance.
Deputy General Manager Consumer Affairs, NERC, Shittu Shuaibu, described the four million free meters been procured as the phase one of the NMMP, which has already started.
While speaking in a live radio program, monitored in Abuja, Shuaibu asserted that Meter Asset Providers working with the distribution companies have so far deployed about 860,000 meters under phase zero of the mass metering programme.
Hear him: ‘The programme is supposed to run in three phases which include phase zero, phase one and phase two. Phase zero was rounded up around the end of October. Phase one has actually commenced and it is another government intervention of about four million meters’.
‘So far we have deployed about 860,000 or close to 900,000 meters, which were part of the one million meters that was procured as part of government intervention. For the four million meters, the procurement process has commenced’.
He said the mass metering intervention was not exactly free because the government gave out loans for the provision of those meters to Nigerians and added that power distribution companies will be part of the loans and were yet to refund it over 10 years at a very reasonable rate through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Regarding the plans for reviewing prepaid meter tariff, the NERC, while giving notice on reviewing transmission loss factor in Multi Year Tariff Order, informed industry stakeholders of the commission and the general public of their intention to commence two major reviews which include the processes for the December 2021 review of MYTO and the extra-ordinary review of transmission company of Nigeria is loss Factor in the MYTO.
The December 2021 MYTO review was structured to consider changes in relevant macroeconomic indices, capital expenditure required for evacuation distribution of the available generation capacity in compliance with laid down rules.
In order to stick to the laid down rules as provided by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, the commission explained that the NERC adopted the MYTO methodology in going about the basis and procedures for reviewing the hike in prepaid meter tariff in the country.
The methodology makes room for minor reviews every six months, major reviews every five months and prepaid meter tariff reviews in cases where industry parameters change from those used in the operating tariffs.