The Central Bank of Nigeria has prohibited the use of its National Mass Metering Programme facility for procurement of fully assembled meters from overseas, and metering infrastructure.
It said this in its report on ‘Framework for financing of National Mass Metering Programme’.
The framework outlined the operational modalities of the CBN financing support to the distribution companies (downstream) and local meter manufacturers (upstream).
Part of the framework read, “Procurement of fully assembled meters from overseas is prohibited except meters imported by Meter Asset Providers already in the country as at September 30, 2020 and verified by NERC.
“Importation of related metering infrastructure that are currently being produced in the country is also prohibited.”
It stated that the NMMP CBN facility was restricted to the procurement and deployment of meters and the associated infrastructure (software and hardware) to support the metering network.
These included but not limited to procurement of NERC approved meters; payments for installation and deployment of meters; and procurement of other metering infrastructure related production and service provision as may be prescribed by NERC in relevant orders or by prevailing rules and regulations.
Others are procurement of backend metering platform and data management systems; and procurement of customer enumeration services.
The key objectives of the NMMP are to increase Nigeria’s metering rate; to eliminate arbitrary estimated billing; and to strengthen the local meter value chain by increasing local meter manufacturing, assembly and deployment capacity.
It also supports Nigeria’s economic recovery plan on creating jobs in the local meter value chain and reducing collection losses and increasing financial flows to achieve 100 per cent market remittance obligations of the Discos.
It also aims to improve network monitoring capability and availability of data for market administration and investment decision making.
According to the CBN, the introduction of the service-based tariff in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry effective from 1st September 2020 has put increased emphasis on the need to close the metering gap in the NESI.
The closing of this gap would enhance efficiency of revenue collection by DisCos and thereby facilitate meeting their obligations to other upstream market participants, it stated.
According to analysis provided by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, the CBN said the current metering gap in the NESI – based on recent customer enumeration data – was over 10 million.
It said this comprised of unmetered customers as well as customers with obsolete meters that needed to be replaced.
To deal with this, it stated, the Federal Government approved the National NMMP implementation.