Local meter manufacturers have increased production ca-pacity by 100 per cent to meet the Federal Government’s May 1 commencement date of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme. The government had given a-three-year window to close the metering gap of five million unmetered customers across the country.
The MAP regulation provided for a local content policy to strengthen the government’s resolve to encourage participation of local entities in the sector. Section 9 of the Regulations stipulates that MAPs shall source a minimum of 30 per cent of their contracted metering volumes from local meter manufacturing companies. Further changes to the minimum local content thresholds shall be specified in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Local Content Regulations.
“This position taken by the regulation is highly commendable as the participation of the local business entities in critical sectors of the economy is vital in increasing the capacity, sustenance and localisation of technical knowledge of the sector and minimising the appropriation of crucial resources that would have been spent to import such services,” NERC said.
In response to this local content regulation, manufacturers said they have doubled their production capacity. Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) Chairman, Kola Balogun, told The Nation on phone that they (meter manufacturers) have started massive production of meters to meet MAPs demand.
He said local meter manufacturers have the capacity to exceed the 30 per cent local content inputs and urged the regulator to increase it to 70 per cent. Our expectation is that the regulator will also have a yardstick to measure the local content to ensure that capacity, skills and jobs are created in-country.
He said MAP licensees and electricity distribution companies (DisCos) are relating with one another well. “We have signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with five MAP licensees,” he said.
On the number of meters to be manufactured by each manufacturer, Balogun said it will depend on the agreement reached between MAP licensee and the meter manufacturer. He said meter manufacturers have scheduled themselves to ensure that they close all the missing links.
According to him, manufacturers have concluded to commence three-shift production activities to close the gap as directed by NERC. “We will be producing a minimum of about 70,000 meters monthly on three shift production operation. Manufacturers have taken bold steps to double production capacity and commenced recruitment of more personnel to fill in for the three shifts to be able to work round the clock to close the metering gap. We have been able to take youths off the street to start working with us. This would also boost the economy and growth of the country,” he said.