UK energy regulator Ofgem bids to improve services offered smart prepayment meter users

Nigeria’s privatisation of its power sector means the West African country needs 6.4 million meter units in the next five years, Metering.com has learned.

The unbundling of the state-run utility, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, has created 11 distribution companies that have all committed to the roll out of prepaid meters, Ibrahim Babagana, director of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, responsible for delivering the privatisation, told Metering.com.

“We asked the distribution companies for one key deliverable for metering and that is to roll out sufficient meters in their area over the next five years.

“It is the job of the Bureau of Public Enterprises to check the performance against the agreement going forward.”

Recent reports from Nigeria however suggests that the new investors aren’t adhering to this requirement.

Local newspaper THISDAY writes that since the new investors took over, 10 out of the 11 distribution companies have not started an installation programme.

A report by the energy regulator Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission showed that of 5.17 million households, only half are properly metered.

THISDAY newspaper also reported that staff of the electricity distribution companies are not reading working meters but estimating monthly bills in order to achieve the high revenue targets set by their respective companies.

Government action
Speaking in Lagos after visiting a local meter manufacturing firm, a member of the House of Representative Committee on Power, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the legislature is now more determined to enforce installation of meters to power consumers after observing that meters are readily available.

The government is also keen to enforce the National Content Act to direct distribution companies to partner with local meter manufacturers instead of buying imported units.

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