Chinedu Nebo announces 1m free prepaid meters

In Nigeria, the Ministry of Power has transferred control of metering vending points to Nigeria’s Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) in a move to improve revenue collection and transparency in meter reading, according to local media sources.

Minister of Power Chinedu Nebo, who oversaw the handover from the government-controlled Market Operator (MO) to operators in Abuja at the weekend, said generating companies, transmission service providers and distribution companies would now have to commit to good governance practices in their dealings as the Market Operator no longer had the mandate to run their metering points.

Chinedu Nebo meters  revenue collection

Mr Nebo said: “We hereby implore market participants not to do anything that will compromise the integrity of the metering data as this will affect the accuracy of market settlement.”

Transparency in meter reading

The Market Operator, which was given responsibility for installing, managing and reading meters in 2004, transferred the duties based on recommendations from NERC to hand over meters at various trading points to operators in the market.

Ngozi Osuhor, acting managing director of MO, explains that the MO would now restrict itself to preparing the monthly invoice for the sector, with the expectation that operators in the sector would transparently manage the meter reading process.

She said: “Energy operators will read the meters and show us, with which we will prepare their invoice but the thing is that in each case, the people using the meters will also read the meter and so there is an interface and they will read and send information to us.”

The move comes as the annual revenue collection in Nigeria’s electricity market is put at N144 billion annually, about a half of the industry’s approved and expected annual threshold of N288 billion annually.

Low revenue collection

Part of the reasons for the market’s low monthly revenue profile have always ranged from poor revenue collection by distribution companies, to electricity transmission losses and instances of unfair trade practices across board.

As part of the conditions precedent for the official commencement of the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM), the handover grants operators the chance to manage their energy supplies.

The MO had overtime been asked by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to hand over meters at the various trading points to operators in the market.

This development also grants affected market participants, generation companies, transmission service providers and distribution companies the responsibility to transparently and efficiently manage their metering interfaces with a view to cutting down on the industry’s loss statistics.

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