In West Africa, the Nigerian Federal Government has approved more than 130 companies as metering service providers ahead of a national rollout.
The list compiled by regulator the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was obtained by local media company Vanguard.
It is unclear how many of the 138 companies approved for meter manufacturing, importing, supplying and installing are foreign companies apart from the Nigerian subsidiary of Egyptian meter manufacturer Elsewedy Electric.
Elsewedy Electric Nigeria is one of five companies certified as meter manufacturers alongside Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL), Uni Star Hitech Nigeria, Electricity Meter Company Nigeria (EMCON) and Mojec International.
The regulator has also approved 13 companies as individual meter installers, 28 companies as meter vendors, and a further 79 companies as corporate installers.
Protecting local meter market
The news come after Nigerian manufacturers of prepayment and post-paid meters have spoken out in recent months against international companies trying to enter the local market.
Meter makers have publicly commented that while Nigerian meters pass through environmental tests of humidity, temperature and heat, imported manufactured meters did not pass through such rigour, stressing that Nigerian manufactured meters were better than imported ones.
The comments follow an appeal by government agency Electricity Management Service in April this year for electricity distributors to buy locally-made prepayment modules to "ensure knowledge transfer, conserve foreign exchange and create jobs".
Meter service delivery
Amid claims that Nigeria's energy distributors have deliberately continued with estimated billing to boost revenue, NERC has given the companies two weeks to supply customers who have already paid for a meter through the CAPMI scheme with a metering unit.
Sam Amadi, chairman of NERC, said: "After two weeks, we will be conducting public hearings to ascertain whether all those who have paid for CAPMI meters have been metered."