……..demands upward review of prepaid meter……..
………by James Ikenna…….
The Association of Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) has blamed scarcity of foreign exchange and Inflation as responsible for the high cost of electric prepaid metres and has called for upward review of the price of metres by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to meet the challenges occasioned by rising inflation.
MAP explained that continued upward movement of foreign exchange rates, associated increases in customs costs, increase in container freight costs, and the disruptions in the international supply chain, leading to a global increase in the prices of raw materials and components for the manufacture of prepaid meters necessitated the need for an upward review.
The Meter providers also noted that there would be a corresponding downward review of meter prices when there is a downward movement in foreign exchange rates and other cost factors.
The association in a communiqué at the end of its meeting assured that closing the metering gap would improve revenue collection, transparency, payment discipline, and improve customer satisfaction in the power industry.
The Meter providers also asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to guarantee access to foreign exchange to Local Meter Manufacturers and Assemblers for the procurement of parts and accessories (Completely Knocked Down (CKD) or Semi Knocked Down (SKD) parts) including equipment for meter manufacturing/production as well as expansion of factory infrastructure.
The communiqué also calls for the removal of bottlenecks in the Customs clearing process, saying that the Nigerian Customs Services should be encouraged to create dedicated desks/teams at the various ports to fast track the clearing of prepaid meters and components from the ports to improve on delivery timelines.
The providers said it was crucial that the Federal Ministry of Finance and Customs harmonise and provide clarity on HS codes for uniform assessment as relates to meters, meters parts, components and accessories.
It said: “Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) should conduct a review of material requirements for the production of meter and metering components and accessories such as meter boxes, relays, etc. This will facilitate the utilisation of available local materials to increase local input in the deployment of meters and reduce foreign currency requirements.
“NERC should urgently convene a roundtable meeting of all stakeholders in the metering sector consisting of the Federal Ministry of Power, Office of the Vice President, CBN, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Customs, NEMSA, DisCos and MAP/Meter Manufacturers & Assemblers to engage on the key issues and above recommendations.
“MAPs acknowledge and commend the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for the various interventions to close the metering gap such as the MAP regulations and the implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).
“Furthermore, MAPs appreciate intervention efforts of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN), the Federal Ministry of Power, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the coordination activities of the Office of the Vice President for their roles in moving the metering sector forward.”