The Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, has disclosed that the Federal Government had given Yola Electricity Distribution Company a loan of N5.061 billion purchase 85,376 meters for consumers.
The loan is part of Federal Government effort to ensure that all electricity consumers in the country are metered.
Mamman expressed happiness that Nigeria has finally gotten it right on the long existing challenges of metering power consumption in the country.
The Minister who spoke in Yola, Adamawa State during the launching of the mass metering program for the Yola Electricity Distribution Company said the implementation of the mass metering program is paying off as one of the most ambitious packages in history.
A statement from his office in Abuja at the weekend quoted him as saying “It is with great pleasure that I stand before you at this landmark event to flag-off the intervention policy of the Federal Government towards closing the metering gap in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. This occasion is a clear testimony of Yola Electricity Distribution Company’s commitment to providing its customers enhanced service delivery”.
The Nigerian electricity market, he said has, for many years, struggled with inadequate revenues thus creating significant liquidity challenge for all market participants in the value chain.
One of the major contributors to the funding challenge is the low level of metering for end-use consumers. This is the principal reason for customer resistance to payment of electricity bills due to the perceived lack of confidence and trust in estimated billing. The often-repeated reason for the low level of metering has been attributed to the inability of Distribution Companies (DisCos) to raise financing for the purchase of meters.
The minister also commended the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the DisCos with the much-needed financing towards the bulk acquisition of meters, describing the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the provision of long-term low interest funds to the DisCos as a boost to the sector.
“I am especially happy to inform you that the Federal Government of Nigeria has granted Yola Distribution Company a soft loan of N5,061,147,103.00 for sourcing of 85,376 meters comprising 62,324 single-phase and 23,052 three-phase meters under phase zero of the National Mass Metering Program.
“I thus call on the management of YEDC to make good use of this facility to significantly reduce the Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses, which negatively affects the revenue stream of the company, as well as improve electricity supply to your esteemed and valuable customers”.
On the part of consumers, he called on customers of YEDC to desist from tampering with electricity meters. This is not only on account of protecting the revenues of the DisCo, but more importantly, for the safety of customers as there have been reports of consumers losing lives in the course of bypassing meters.