• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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FG, NSIA earmark N1.3trn funding for Presidential Metering Initiative

The Federal Government, in partnership with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), has earmarked N1.325 trillion to finance the Presidential Metering Initiative (PMI), a strategic endeavour aimed at bridging Nigeria’s staggering seven million metering deficit within a targeted span of four to five years.

During a site visit to the Famadec Group in Lagos on Monday, Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power, unveiled these substantial commitments. He outlined the funding framework, highlighting the Government’s provision of an initial N75 billion as seed capital.

In addition, he outlined plans for leveraging debt financing from diverse financial institutions to bolster the PMI’s resources. Meanwhile, the NSIA has pledged to inject a minimum of N250 billion annually for the initiative’s duration, augmenting the sector’s capacity to execute its comprehensive meter acquisition strategy.

He said: ‘‘And the target that we have is that within four to five years, we should close the metering gap, which means that a minimum of two million meters must be installed annually under the PMI.

“For this, it has also established a Presidential Metering Council (PMC) of which I am the Chairman with other major stakeholders represented, including the Senior Advisor to the President on Energy and some private sector players.’’

The minister said Nigeria contends with a formidable deficit exceeding seven million electricity meters crucial for residential and commercial use.

This deficiency, he said, precipitates a host of issues, including the contentious practice of estimated billing, revenue leakage, and pervasive consumer discontent.

During his extensive tours of multiple meter manufacturing facilities, the minister bemoaned their constrained production capacities.

He said that the limitation stemmed not from inherent shortcomings within the manufacturing sector but rather from insufficient demand to incentivise expansion.

However, he said that heightened patronage would catalyse growth, enabling these facilities to upscale operations significantly and, in turn, narrow the nation’s metering deficit.

“And after closing the gap, I believe the local manufacturers will service the remnants of gaps that would be left going forward because as they are closing these gaps, there would still be new connections that will need to be made, and a lot of these meters after 10 years get obsolete which will need to be replaced. So, there is a huge market for local manufacturers.’’

Adelabu said there was a need to have a mix of both imported and local meters to meet the metering needs of Nigerians. According to him, while local manufacturers are growing in capacity, imported meters will be there to meet the immediate demands because the country cannot afford to have a vacuum in the meter procurement value chain, warning that, such would create more problems for the industry.

Fola Akinola, chief executive officer of Famedec Group, said the suspension of meter installation by Discos was a result of pricing issues which are already receiving attention.

He said that Discos had to close their portals when it became impossible for local meter manufacturers to continue to supply the product at the old price due to exchange rate fluctuations.

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