abstract-electricity-cable-wide
Regulatory Commission places ban on the import of meters

On Tuesday, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission announced additional restrictions to be placed on the importation of meters into the country.

According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission if there is a sufficient supply of meters from local manufacturers to meet the demand of distribution companies then the regulatory commission will not approve imported meters, The Guardian reported.

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Chairman Sam Amadi told journalists in Abuja yesterday: “We [have] demanded that every such importer must produce proof that the distribution company that gives its supply order cannot source [the] number of meters from local manufacturers.”

Import requests

Meter importers have submitted letters to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission asking for the meter import restrictions to be lifted.

Amadi added: “They have also requested for an interim license for six months after which they will establish meter manufacturing plants in Nigeria.”

The Guardian also reported that the Commission has ordered a capped tariff, which distribution companies can charge unmetered customers. This order has a moratorium of four months only.

Amadi added: “All estimates being imposed by [distribution companies] within the moratorium period shall be strictly based on the Commission Billing Estimation Methodology. As soon as the capping regulation commences, the extant regulation on estimation methodology will be vacated.”

Electricity theft

Electricity-theft-meter-tampering-1-photo-by-Eskom
Meter tampering in informal settlements is done to avoid the payment of electricity. Pic credit: Eskom

Amadi stressed that consumers need to disengage from any criminal movement, which involves electricity theft.

“It is in the interest of consumers to report their neighbour who engages in such criminal activities to the distribution companies and the security forces.

Amadi added: “By protecting electrical installations, we reduce the cost of electricity generation, transmission and distribution. And we benefit in terms of improved power supply and lower tariff.”

“As [the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission] decide[s] to push the distribution companies to high levels of efficiency and customer accountability, it has authorised distribution companies to take the severest actions possible to prevent, detect and prosecute customers who by-pass or clone meters, tamper with electrical installation or in any way defraud them of approved revenue.

“We call on the police authorities to step up prevention and prosecution of criminal activities in the electricity market. Just this week, we received [a] petition from [a few] local meter manufacturers alleging that some distribution companies have violated the local content obligation by installing imported meters when there are locally manufactured meters [available]. We have started investigations [into] the allegation.”