MAP: DisCos Process 250,000 Applications for Prepaid Meters

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By Dipo Olowookere

Not less than 250,000 applications for prepaid meters have been received and processed so far by distribution companies (DisCos) across the country under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation of 2018.

The MAP policy was created by federal government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to close the current metering gap of about 5.3 million consumers.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, while speaking at the commissioning projects of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) in Abeokuta on Thursday, August 15, 2019, said efforts were being made to ensure all unmetered electricity consumers are reached.

“On May 1 2019, MAPs, commenced meter rollout; over 250,000 applications have been received and processed by DisCos to date and of course, that is then supposed to be forwarded to MAPs for installation.

“This figure is expected to quadruple by the end of 2019, and double by the end of 2020, largely closing the current metering gap of about 5.3 million consumers,” the Vice President said.

However, he stressed that the DisCos were underperforming, saying that they lack the capacity to supply power to end users because of infrastructure.

“Despite the availability of 8,000MW of generation and 7,000MW of transmission capacity, the lack of DisCos’ infrastructure to absorb and deliver grid power to end users has largely restricted generation to an average of about 4,000MW and sometimes falling below 4,000MW.

“Apart from the lack of infrastructure is the inability of DisCos, first, to provide distribution assets generally and also metering, and you have heard what the MD of TCN said about the unavailability of distribution assets, there is also the unavailability to provide metering to consumers.

“In resolving this issue, the Federal Government stepped in through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation of 2018. This is essentially regulation to provide metering, through independent or third parties to consumers all across Nigeria,” he said.

According to the Vice President, “In the past few years, resolving the power supply problem has been top priority for the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

He said, “Today, we have about 13,427MW of installed capacity, and an available capacity of about 8,342MW. This was achieved through the efforts of government and its private sector partners in the rehabilitation and commissioning of turbines in Shiroro, Egbin, Delta Power, Sapele and Gbarain.

“Before the end of the year, new generation is expected from Gbarain and an extra 115 MW; Kashimbilla (40 MW); Afam III Fast Power (240 MW); Gurara (30 MW); Dadin Kowa (29 MW); and Kaduna (215 MW).”

Mr Osinbajo stated that, “In the long term, several solar plants will come on stream. The national grid already has the capacity to transmit 7,000MW, an increase from less than about 5,000MW in 2015 and this is due to the completion and improvement of several transmission projects.

“We have been told by the MD of NDPHC, Mr Chiedu Ugbo, the completion of projects already done by TCN, like the Ikot Ekpene switching station and the completion of the Ikot Ekpene-Ugwuaji-Makurdi-Jos loop, which was done by the NDPHC in 2017.

“But distribution capacity in the 11 DisCos are significantly low, hovering at around 4,000MW on average with a peak of about 5,400MW.”

He described the commissioning of Thursday’s projects as “an important part of the federal government’s efforts to improve the supply and quality of power to homes and businesses in Nigeria.”

According to him, it was part of efforts to open up the space for private sector into the power sector to open up the market to satisfy energy consumers in the country.

“The whole idea of it is to create a regime whereby there can be more willing-buyer-willing seller arrangements. It is in my view completely impossible, to satisfy Nigeria’s power demands from the national grid alone.

“There must be independent power suppliers and this why we have all these regulations for micro-grid and other willing-buyer-willing-seller arrangements and that is the way by which we can go forward and ensure that we are able to serve many of the unserved and underserved communities that we have today.

“These polices when fully implemented, will enable the opening up of the market to new investors in generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, transacting directly with each other, to serve willing customers and this is the way which the Federal Government will proceed to ensure that we increase some more opportunities to existing DisCos and to other investors who may wish to serve Nigeria’s huge power market, which of course, at the moment is terribly underserved,” he said.

Mr Osinbajo said, “Federal Government is committed to ensuring that we have adequate power supply both in our home and also in our various places of business.

“Power supply is the life blood of any economy and we will remain committed to ensuring that power supply is adequate everywhere.

“Just as you heard, it is certainly not going to be a short walk, but as we have seen, from all what we have heard so far, there so much to be done and we are committed to doing it.

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