power (600 x 412) LAGOS – Two indigenous pre-paid meter manufactures have appealed to the Federal Government to prevail on Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to promote locally manufactured pre-paid meters.
They made the appeal while speaking with newsmen in Lagos against the backdrop of approval of funds for the procurement of one million electricity meters by the Federal Government.
The Minister of Power, Mr Chinedu Nebo had announced the approval of the procurement of the meters on January 15.
Mr Kola Balogun, Chairman, MEMCOL Meter Manufacturing Company, Lagos, said the meters should be purchased locally in the spirit of the local content initiative.
Balogun said that there was no need for government or the distribution companies to engage in importation of meters into the country.
He added that locally produced meters were of standard for the power sector.
“Government needs to encourage local meter manufacturers and stop the importation of meters.
“There is no reason why government or the companies will go outside the shores of the country to get a product that is readily available locally,” Balogun said.
Mrs Mojisola Abdul, Chairman, MOJEC International Ltd, Lagos, decried the poor patronage of locally-made electricity meters by government agencies.
According to Abdul, the revolution in telecommunications can be sustained in Nigeria through the promotion of this sector.
“The story of poor patronage is still the same in meter manufacturing where foreign firms are better patronised and recognised by electricity companies.
“I can confidently say that we (the local manufacturers) of meters can meet the country’s supply needs if patronised,’’ she said.
Abdul said that employment opportunities would triple if local manufacturers get more support from governments at all levels.
She said the local content policy of the government would not succeed if home-made innovations were not adequately utilised.
She added that Nigeria’s power sector reforms would be meaningless if more considerations were not given to local manufacturers of electricity equipment.
“Nigeria has reached a stage where it is not supposed to be importing meters.
“In our company alone, we have a production capacity of 500,000 to one million meters a month,” she added.
Nebo had on December 15 last year, said the owners of the electricity distribution companies inherited a lot of consumers who had no meters.
Nebo said so while addressing the complaints of consumers and civil society organisations during a town hall meeting in Abuja
According to him, the private sector inherited a customer base in which 50 per cent do not have meters.
“Nigeria has the highest per capita electricity theft in the world.
“That is why we are now doing smart meters and we are moving to a place where the meters will be mounted on poles, because something has got to be done fast.
“As a result of the burden on the DISCOs due to meter issues, President Goodluck Jonathan has provided funding to give over one million meters to Nigerians to reduce the gap,” the minister said.