Price hike won’t affect four million free meters -FG

The recent increase in the cost of prepaid electricity meters will not affect the four million meters being provided under the National Mass Metering Programme, the Federal Government announced on Monday night.

It announced this following the widespread outrage that greeted the increase in the cost of both single-phase and three-phase meters as was made public on Friday by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The NERC had raised the price of a single-phase meter from N44,896.17 to N58,661.69 and increased the price of a three-phase meter from N82,855.19 to N109,684.36.

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But following the overwhelming reaction which followed the hike, the regulator in a public notice on Monday night announced that the four million meters to be provided under the NMMP would be given free.

It said, “The NMMP designed to provide all consumers of electricity with meters is a policy intervention of the Federal Government supported by CBN concessionary loans to distribution companies.

“This laudable initiative is still very much on course. A total of over 900,000 units of meters have so far been installed under the take-off phase of the scheme without any payment by benefitting consumers.

“While this doesn’t cover many of the unmetered customers, we are pleased to inform electricity consumers that the next phase under which about four million units of meters would be procured from local meter manufacturers has commenced.

“We once again state that, under this National Mass Metering Programme, consumers would not be required to pay directly for the meters.”

It, however, noted that pending the conclusion of the NMMP procurement processes and the commencement of manufacturing/installation, consumers might elect to acquire a meter immediately from Meter Asset Providers.

The NERC said the regulatory framework approved by the commission under the MAP/NMMP Regulations provided for the refund of the cost of the meter through energy credits to the customer at the time of vending.

It said the recently issued notice by the commission on the adjusted cost of meters was designed to protect consumers from arbitrary pricing by any MAP in the context of recent changes in macroeconomic parameters affecting the cost of production.

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