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108 meter asset providers to start operation soon

Published by The Nation on Mon, 11 Feb 2019

No fewer than 108 meter asset providers (MAPs) are set to start operation by the end of next month to help bridge the metering gap of 4.7million electricity customers in the country, The Nation learnt at the weekend.It was gathered that the firms are almost through with the preparation to roll out meters while the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is working round the clock to certify them.Sources said the 108 firms were among the 115 firms announced by NERC last November, as potential MAPs.Officials of some of the firms, who spoke on phone, said they were about to conclude preparations for the distribution of meters, adding that they were waiting for the directive of NERC to start operation in the next few weeks.Unistar Hi-Tech Systems Limited Chief Executive Officer Mr Taiwo Oladotun said the issue of providing meters to unmetered customers was paramount to MAPs, adding that they would complement the efforts of the government by reducing the 4.7 million metering gap in the country.Oladotun, whose firm is also seeking approval to operate as MAP, said his firm and other prospective meter providers are discussing the issue of raising funds with the Federal Government in order to kick-start the scheme soon.He said the discussion borders on how the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would be of help to the operators in the metering segment, by providing them with cheap loans, adding that when this happens, MAPs would be able to do their jobs without fear.He said the issue of training and retraining of firms that intend to provide services such as meter distribution, meter installation and other ancillary services is important, in view of the fact that the operation of the sector is sensitive and requires greater level of competence from operators.He assured of seamless operation, adding that MAPs were looking forward to finalising working agreement with electricity distribution companies (DisCos).Also, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) Managing Director Mr Kola Balogun said each of the firms, which applied to become meter asset providers, would not find it difficult to operate, when the scheme took.
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