NERC Approves N21 Billion for DisCos to Provide Free Meters to Customers

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved a funding allocation of N21 billion to electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) for the provision of meters to end-user customers at no cost.
This approval is detailed in NERC Order No: NERC/2024/072 on the operationalization of “Tranche A” of the Presidential Metering Initiative under the Meter Acquisition Fund (MAF).
Signed by NERC Chairman, Engr. Sanusi Garba, and Commissioner Legal, Dafe Akpeneye, on June 19, 2024, the order takes effect from June 13, 2024, and is subject to amendments or revocations by future orders.
“The Commission hereby approves the use of a sum of NGN21,000,000,000 (twenty-one billion Naira only) apportioned pro rata to contribution by the DisCos as Tranche A of the MAF scheme,” NERC stated. A breakdown of the funds available for each DisCo is attached as Schedule 1 of the order.
Under the MAF framework, DisCos are required to procure and install meters for customers free of charge. Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company receives the highest allocation at N4.35 billion, followed by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (N2.99 billion) and Eko Electricity Distribution Company (N2.92 billion). Other allocations include:
– Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company: N2.52 billion
– Enugu Electricity Distribution Company: N1.73 billion
– Benin Electricity Distribution Company: N1.57 billion
– Kano Electricity Distribution Company: N1.57 billion
– Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company: N1.36 billion
– Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company: N1.22 billion
– Jos Electricity Distribution Company: N521.91 million
– Yola Electricity Distribution Company: N243.35 million
The MAF scheme aims to address the national metering gap, which exceeds seven million customers, by leveraging long-term financing secured against market funds. The initiative also seeks to improve the creditworthiness of DisCos and support the deployment of meters and other capital investments.
NERC introduced the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulations in 2018, followed by the MAP and National Mass Metering Regulations in 2021, to address metering challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). Despite these efforts, the metering gap persists, prompting the establishment of the MAF scheme.
The federal government’s Presidential Metering Initiative (PMI) aims to close the metering gap within three years, utilizing smart metering technologies for data analytics. The MAF is one of the revenue streams for repaying long-term financing for metering.
DisCos are required to conduct a transparent and competitive procurement process for meter price determination, selection, and engagement of MAPs/LMMAs within 14 days from the effective date of the order. A report on the procurement process must be submitted to NERC for approval within 20 days.
The order specifies payment terms for contracts with MAPs/LMMAs, including advance payment guarantees and milestone payments based on verified installation progress. DisCos must ensure necessary resources and network clearance for meter installations.
The deployment of funds under the MAF scheme is expected to accelerate meter installations, reduce commercial losses, and improve customer satisfaction by enhancing the quality of service.
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