NERC Increases Electricity Meter Prices Monday, Nov. 15, As NUEE Laments

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THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has announced the increment in the cost of both single and three-phase electricity meters with effect from Monday, November 15, 2021.

NERC made the announcement via a memo dated Thursday, November 11, 2021, signed by its Chairman, Sani Garba, and addressed to the Managing Directors of all Electricity Distribution Companies and all Meter Asset Providers in the country.

Mr Garba, in the memo with reference number NERC/REG/MAP/GEN/751/2, said the price of a single-phase meter will, effect from Monday be increased from the current cost of N44,896.17 to N58,661.69, while the price of a three-phase meter will move from N82,855.19 to N109,684.36.

The memo, entitled “ Review of the Unit Price of End-Use Meters Under the Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations,” reads:

“Pursuant to the provisions of the Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission note the recent changes in macro-economic parameters and hereby approve an upward review of unit price of meters as follows: “Meter Type – single-Phase Meter: Current cost – N44,896.17: Revised Cost – 58,66169; Three-Phase-Meter – Current cost – N82,855.19: Revised Cost – N109,684.36

“Note: All costs are exclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT).

“in arriving at the approved unit price, the Commission had, in particular, only considered changes in foreign exchange and inflation since the last review of June 2020. This price review is subject to change upon the conclusion of the procurement process under phase 1 of the National Mass Metering Program. This price review is effective from 15th November 2021.

“Please accept the assurances of the Commission [sic] best regards.”

NUEE laments situation
When National Record contacted Comrade Joe Ajaero, the General Secretary of Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Saturday afternoon for his reaction to the increment, he said he was not surprised and that the union had in the past predicted all the happenings in the electricity sector, on the nature of privatisation, tariff and metering, and therefore, there was nothing he or the union could say further.

Comrade Ajaero, General Secretary NUEE, and Deputy President, NLC.

Comrade Ajaero, who is also a Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said just as the union had predicted the increases in electricity tariff, it also predicted that power generation was not going to improve, predictions which he argued have come to pass with power generation remaining static at 4,000 megawatts since 2012/2013 while tariff had been increased by over 500 per cent.

He lamented that the irony of the increment in the price of meter is that it is coming from the government that had through the Central Bank of Nigeria initiated a programme to fund six million meters by December his year.

Comrade Ajaero said: “By now you should know, if you had watched carefully, that I have not been reacting to all these things. This is because, when you predict something and it is coming to pass, I don’t know why I should be reacting. You know we fought the government on the issue of privatisation and the consequences we listed are manifesting now.

“Just like we predicted the increases in electricity tariffs, we equally predicted that even the power generation will not improve. You can see that the 4,000 megawatts we had in 2012 and ’13 are the same with what we have now, and tariff has increased by over 500 per cent; and metering, you know, has not been covered; almost 70 per cent of the houses in the country has not been metered.

“The irony is that the federal government promised a metering project. If the government promised, for which the Central Bank of Nigeria released money for adequate metering of houses, in fact the ambition was to have about six million meters before December [2021]; then the question is, why are you now increasing the cost of meter? Is it the same meter that has been subsidised or that which the federal government has budgeted for?

“So, it is a kind of disappointment when you look at the docility of our people. The government can push down anything through our throat and Nigerians will not resist.

“By the time we were fighting privatisation, we said that no country privatises its economy the way we were doing and talks about being industrialised.

“If the Aladja Steel complex and other steel companies were working; there will be mass production of meters in the country and the meter companies will not depend on importation, and there would have been a lot of people working in those steel companies.

“In India, you can walk into a shop and buy meter. So metering is not rocket science. But the way it is here, there is nothing we cannot see. This will not be the last increase even in the price of meter. So it is something that I am tired of

“So I have seen the memo, and I felt that, just like the last time they insinuate that they were increasing tariff, and they actually increased tariff, there was nothing anybody could do; so that is the true situation; they did.”

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