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Association urges DISCOs to install smart meters to improve revenue generation

Association urges DISCOs to install smart meters to improve revenue generation

The Association of Electricity Consumers of Nigeria (AECN) on Thursday urged the managements of Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to adopt the smart metering model to reduce energy loss and improve revenue generation.

The National President of the association,  Gani Makanjuola, said the application of the new technology would improve the national electricity distribution and enhance economic development.

According to him, the desire to put such technology in place would further enhance the commitment and capabilities of the utility companies.

“Their required organisational changes, processes and technology enhancements would improve efficiency in electricity distribution through smart metering operations.

“Energy providers are implementing smart metering to drive down cost to serve, prolong the life of aging infrastructure, drive reliability and promote process efficiency.

“Energy providers’ deploying of smart meters required an Information Technology and organisational transformation that will prepare them for the future,’’ he said.

Makanjuola said the introduction and integration of smart metering technologies into the traditional utility operation model would bring about a change in how operational processes are organised.

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He said that smart meter deployment provided an opportunity to save cost in operations following the review and realignment of core and support processes.

The association’s president also urged the Federal Government to compel the nation’s electricity distribution companies to patronise indigenous meter manufacturing companies.

He said the promotion of local content would encourage knowledge transfer, conservation of foreign exchange and jobs creation.

“The association appealed to the government to prevail on DISCOs to promote locally manufactured pre-paid meters.

“Government must ensure that the approved funds for the procurement of one million electricity meters should be purchased locally.

Makanjuola said the meters should be purchased locally in the spirit of the local content initiative, adding that there was no need for government or the DICOS to engage in importation of meters.

“Government needs to encourage local meter manufacturers and stop the importation of meters. There is no reason why government or the companies will go outside the shores of the country to get a product that is readily available locally,” he added.

Also speaking, Kola Balogun, Chairman, Momas Meter Manufacturing Company Ltd, decried the poor patronage of locally-made electricity meters by government agencies.

According to Balogun, the revolution in telecommunications can be sustained in Nigeria through the promotion of this sector.

“The story of poor patronage is still the same in meter manufacturing where foreign firms are better patronised and recognised by electricity companies.

“I can confidently say that we (the local manufacturers of meters) can meet the country’s supply needs if patronised,’’ he said.

Balogun said that employment opportunities would triple if local manufacturers get more support from government at all levels.

He said that the local content policy of the government would not succeed if home-made innovations were not adequately utilised.

He said that Nigeria’s power sector reforms would be meaningless if more considerations were not given to local manufacturers of electricity equipment.

“Nigeria has reached a stage where it is not supposed to be importing meters.

“In our company alone, we have a production capacity of one million to two million meters a month,” Balogun added.