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September 21, 2021

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed N41.06 billion to ten (10) DisCos, for the procurement and installation of 759,748 electricity meters. This was disclosed in the “CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 138 OF THE 281ST MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE MEETING” which was held on Thursday, 16th, and Friday, 17th, September 2021.

The apex bank has always shown its commitment to support the Nigeria energy sector and promoting the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) and Federal Government’s Auto-Gas Conversion Programme.

What the CBN said
CBN said, “Under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), N41.06 billion has been disbursed to ten (10) DisCos, for the procurement and installation of 759,748 electricity meters. Under the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilization Facility – 2 (NEMSF-2), the Bank has released the sum of N145.66 billion to 11 DisCos as loans to provide liquidity support and stimulate critical infrastructure investment to improve service delivery and collection efficiency.
“In furtherance of its intervention in the energy sector, the Bank has disbursed N39.20 billion to six (6) beneficiaries to improve gas-based infrastructure to support the Federal Government’s Auto-Gas Conversion Programme. The Bank has also encouraged Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to participate in the Solar Connection Facility (SCF) to improve energy access in the rural areas.”

Important issues to note
The Nigerian President approved the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP) implementation to close the metering gap, which is over 10 million and this comprises unmetered customers as well as customers with obsolete meters that need to be replaced.

The Ministry of Power said that the mass metering initiative of the Federal Government was paying off as one of the most ambitious packages in history.

The benefit of the process
The objectives of the initiative are to increase Nigeria’s metering rate, elimination of arbitrary estimated billing, strengthen the local meter value chain by increasing local meter manufacturing, assembly, and deployment capacity and support Nigeria’s economic recovery by creating jobs in the local meter value chain.

Others are to reduce collection losses and increasing financial flows to achieve 100% market remittance obligations of the DisCos, and Improve network monitoring capability and availability of data for market administration and investment decision making.

Analyst View
Nigerians are long overdue for the digital metering of their electricity and energy consumption. The analog metering method which still subsists in some parts of the country is retrogressive and characterised by wrong metering, fraud, corruption, and loss of revenue to the government. It is therefore essential that the current government see the process through and ensure that all Nigerians are metered.