DisCos Get N14.4bn Loan for 263,860 Prepaid Meters

January 22, 2021
Prepaid Meters DisCos

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government said it has distributed the sum of N14.35 billion to electricity distribution firms for the procurement of prepaid meters under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

The money was disbursed to the energy companies through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as loan for the purchase of 263,860 meters as part of the efforts of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to increase metering capacity.

According to a statement, the facility “is a loan that must be repaid by the DisCos on the basis of the previously agreed amortisation schedule. The repayment is to be deducted from payments made by consumers into the DisCos accounts with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).”

The maximum tenor for the loan is 10 years but not exceeding 2030, while the moratorium on the principal amount is for a period not exceeding 24 months from the date of loan disbursement.

In November 2020, it was reported by the FG intended to make immediate funding available for DisCos to roll out one million in the first phase of the mass metering programme.

Following the announcement, NERC released a list of the metering schedule for the first phase with Ikeja Electric getting meter allocation of 106,701 units (10.7 per cent).

Others were Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) with 103,997 units (10.4 per cent), Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) with 101,186 units (10.1 per cent), while the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) got 77,070 units (7.7 per cent).

The federal government launched the NMMP and the CBN in October 2020 issued the framework for financing of the scheme. The structure seeks to, amongst others, increase the country’s metering rate and eliminate arbitrary estimated billing.

Under the policy, the apex bank will provide financing support to the DisCos for the procurement of meters for customers and the local meter manufacturers.

The DisCo can neither use the facility to procure fully assembled meters imported by a MAP nor can it use the facility to import metering infrastructure that currently produced in Nigeria.

With respect to the facility granted to local meter manufacturers, such local manufacturer cannot use the CBN facility to finance the importation of fully assembled meters.

This implies that the local manufacturer can use the facility to import Completely/ SemiKnocked Down (CKDs/SKDs) components for assembling in Nigeria.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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