NERC Unable To Meet Metering Target Despite N33.4bn Loan

Despite gulping a whopping N33.4bn released by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the distribution of prepaid metres across the country, THE WHISTLER learnt on Thursday that only an abysmal 13 per cent implementation has been recorded as at March 19, 2021.

The project originally targeted one million metering of houses across the country between October 2020 and April 2021.

This revelation irked the Senate Committee on Power which expressed dismay on the performance of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, on Mass Metering Project in the country despite N33.4bn already released by the Central Bank of Nigeria .

The committee while going through documents presented to it by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, at an interactive session with representatives of the various Electricity Distribution Companies in Abuja, slammed a verdict of poor performance on the Commission.

NERC Chairman , Engineer Sanusi Garba disclosed that “while 403, 000 out of the targeted one million meters have been delivered to the various DISCOs, only 127, 000 have been installed , representing 13 per cent performance” .

This, he attributed to the poor performance and delay in disbursement of fund , the chunk of which according to him was made available to the DISCOs in February this year .

Document obtained by THE WHISTLER shows that target performance duration for the project which is phase one , entailing metering of one million houses across the country in reducing the metering deficit of 6.5 million , is six months , that is from October 2020 to April 2021 .

Though out of the N59.2bn earmarked for it , N33.4bn has been released to the various DISCOs by the Central Bank of Nigeria but disbursement of the releases were very slow which resulted in many of them , accessing the fund in February .

This largely contributed to the poor performance percentage by the DISCOs for now, on the National Mass Metering project .

“But with chunk of the funds available to the DISCOs now , the implementation performance index will rise astronomically within the next few weeks,” he said .

Not impressed by the NERC Chairman’s performance report, the committee led by Senator Gabriel Suswam ( PDP Benue North East) , berated the Commission and the DISCOs for poor performance .

Suswam, regretted that despite government’s intervention, NERC may not achieve the aim of the N59.2bn loan extended to Discos.

“Your performance report on the mass Metering project is not impressive and encouraging at all.
Nigerians are not happy that with all efforts being made by the federal government to get get electricity consumption metered , are being thwarted in one way or the other .

“Estimated Billings is not acceptable and that is the reason why the intervention was made .

“In the light of this , this Commitee will want your Commission and the DISCOs to appear before it again by the end of next month to see whether the assurance given on better performance will be done or not,” he said

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