It was also gathered from the Discos that the monetary shortfall in Nigeria’s power had risen to over N1.4tn despite the marginal improvement in revenue collection by the electricity distributors on behalf of the industry.
Data obtained in Abuja on Sunday from the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, the umbrella body of the Discos, showed that their revenue collection efficiency increased from the 61 per cent (N363bn) recorded in 2017 to 66 per cent (N437.9bn) in 2018.
But this was not enough to address the over N1.4tn shortfall in the sector, just as the Executive Director, ANED, Sunday Oduntan, stressed that it was no more the responsibility of Discos to provide meters for customers.
According to him, that responsibility now lies with the Meter Asset Providers licensed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Oduntan said that with the licensing of the Meter Asset Providers, the Discos would now concentrate on addressing other challenges in the power supply business.
He said, “Metering has been taken off the Discos’ primary responsibility and that is why the Federal Government through NERC came up with MAPs. In summary, the Meter Asset Providers are essentially now in charge of metering, not the Discos.
“We are participants; we have a role to play and we are playing this role by cooperating with them. But we are not the ones to provide meters to Nigerians, going forward. People need to understand that and we support anything that will make it possible for Nigerians to have meters.”
This latest position by Discos contradicts what the Federal Government announced in August 2018.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had announced in August 2018 that power distribution companies still had the responsibility of providing meters to customers.
The minister had stated that the Meter Asset Provider Regulation, which was unveiled by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in March 2018, did not completely remove the responsibility of providing meters by the Discos.