Nigerian manufacturers of prepayment and post-paid meters have again spoken out against international companies trying to enter the local market.
During a meeting of local manufacturers to discuss how Nigeria’s electricity distribution companies are not placing orders with them to meet the country’s metering gap, comments were made about imported metering products, reports local media source Vanguard.
The report said that meter makers 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”. [Read – Nigeria says no to ‘foreigners taking over local meter manufacturing’]
Production on hold
Despite the Nigerian government giving incentives to encourage electricity distributors to buy and install meters, such as the soft term line of credit announced last month – very few have began rollout programmes, leaving local manufacturers in limbo.
At the meeting of manufacturers this week, Olayinka Lawal, general manager, commercial of MEMMCOL, said patronage of Nigerian meters would allow local manufacturers to retain their trained engineers, adding that his company was operating with skeletal staff at the moment, having already asked about 60 per cent of the 150 workforce to stay at home.
Mr Lawal said: “The Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has also been here up to four times. However, because the plant has stopped full production following the lack of patronage, the final approval of SON has been put on hold.”
Lawal, who also represents the Electricity Meters Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, said with its installed capacity of 1.2 million meters a year or 100,000 meters a month, his factory could meet the demands of the distribution companies.