• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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FG to deploy 10 million meters to households in 5yrs

FG pushes national power policy for legislative approval

The federal government through the Ministry of Power has disclosed plans to provide 2 million meters per annum to underserved households and close over a 7 million meter gap in the country, in the next five years.

Adebayo Adelabu, the minister of power stated this during the sectoral ministerial update briefing held in Abuja on Friday. The deployment of the meters according to him is aimed to improve sector liquidity and limit estimated billing.

This coming after several attempts by past administrations to close the country’s metering gap, to reduce reliance on estimated billing and to scale up meter installation. The Buhari-led administration launched the Meter Asset Providers (MAP) policy in March 2018 and the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) in 2020. The two programmes aimed to collectively install 6.5 million meters by the end of 2022.

These programmes however failed to deliver on target as the total electricity customers at the end of September 2023 stood at 5.7 million.

Under the first phase (phase 0) of the program which was flagged off in October 2020, the federal government installed about 900,000 free prepaid meters to customers as against a target of 1 million.

After the initial phase, the programme was stalled till the end of the Buhari administration, a situation which experts blame on faulty payment plans and citizen’s distrust in the government’s policies.

However, Adelabu said that the bidding process for 1.5 million meters from the World Bank Distribution Support Recovery Program has been completed, adding that 46,089 meters have been procured and deployed to military formations nationwide to reduce MDA debts and improve sector liquidity.

He said, “Presidential Power Initiative is ongoing and in Nov 2023, Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz witnessed the signing of an accelerated performance agreement aimed at expediting the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve electricity supply in Nigeria.

“The implementation of the pilot phase has resulted in infrastructure improvement which includes additional grid evacuation capacity by 280MW and an additional 183 MW to be commissioned by the end of June 2024.

“We are in the process of finalizing contracts for Phase 1 of the presidential power initiative, rehabilitation of 15 brownfield substations (Expected Contract Date
August 2024) and construction of 22 green field Substations (Expected Contract Date October 2024).

The minister explained that in furtherance of the government’s commitment to achieving the energy transition target of net zero carbon emissions by 2060, efforts were ongoing to provide energy access to 95 million Nigerians who are currently unserved through Distributed Energy Resources (DRE), which will be deployed through mini/microgrids, solar home systems and solar street lights.

He explained that due to the success of the Nigeria Electrification Plan (NEP) which has bridged the energy access deficit by providing electricity to over 1.1 million households, MSMEs, the Federal Government of Nigeria has finalized an additional $750 million facility to increase access to electricity for 2.5 million households through the deployment of solar home systems and mini-grids to households, MSMEs, educational and health facilities throughout Nigeria.

“In the next 2 months, we will commission 35 MW of solar projects developed to power the following educational institutions University of A a Nigerian Defense, Academy, Federal