The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Monday introduced a new policy that may worsen consumers grapple with high electricity bills across the states.
The latest regulation which came into effect on March 8, 2018 and will be enforced by the Commission from April 3, 2018, is aimed at providing standard rules to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services, eliminate estimated billing practices, attract private investment to the provision of metering services in NESI, and close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll out to enhance revenue in NES.
According to NERC’s Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, prepaid meters will soon flood the market with the licensing of 87 meter asset providers (MAPs). But those who will get the new meters under the new regulation will have to pay more.
Akpeneye said MAPs will be independent providers who will be approved by NERC but contracted by the DisCos to bridge the metering gap.
He said, “They are to be saddled with the responsibility of providing meters and replacing faulty devices within 48 hours,”.
In Section 10 (5) of the new law, which contains the new provision, an analysis of the Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018 (Regulation No NERC-R-112) shows that those who benefit under the new system will pay a monthly service charge. Under chapter IV, section 10 (“Rights of Distribution Licensees”), subsection 5, the regulation states: “The Distribution Licensees shall include a metering service charge as a clear item on the billing of its customers provided with meters under an MSA with MAPs and shall be separate from the energy charge. The metering service charge shall be based on the outcome of the procurement process for the MAP and subject to the approval of the Commission.”