Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has increased the cost of acquiring prepaid metres in the country.
First News learnt that the NERC has raised the price for a three-phase meter from N67,055 to N82,855.19, while the cost of a single-phase meter is now N44.896.16 from the previous N36,991.
The new prices, it was gathered, were contained in a memo by NERC Chairman, Prof. James Momoh, pegging the new price pursuant to section 19 (d) of the Meter Asset Providers regulation.
Stakeholders, however, said that the introduction of the MAP model has failed to adequately address the meter demands of customers.
Momoh was said to have explained in the memo that the hike in foreign exchange rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria had necessitated the hike in the prices of prepaid metres.
The NERC boss was quoted to have said, “In arriving at the approved unit costs, the commission has considered the recent changes in foreign exchange approved by the CBN and the applicable rate available to importers of meter components or fully assembled meters through investors and exporters’ forex window.”
According to figures from the NERC, out of a total of 8,310,408 registered active electricity customers, only 3,704,302 (44.6 per cent) have been metered.
This indicates that 55.4 per cent of end-user customers are still on estimated billing.
Electricity consumers have continuously condemned the inability of the regulatory commission and power distributors to provide prepaid meters since the sector was privatised in November 2013.