Between N289.86bn and N534.93bn is required to provide meters for the 6,456,275 unmetered electricity users across the country, findings have shown.
This came as industry stakeholders stressed that there must be alignments and coordination among operators for equipment improvement projects being executed in the sector to be achieved.
Latest figures of unmetered customers in the power sector, based on data from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, showed that 6,456,275 electricity users were unmetered.
Early this month, The PUNCH exclusively reported that power consumers would pay more for prepaid meters as the NERC had approved a hike in the prices of meters.
The commission increased the price for a three-phase meter from N67,055.85 to N82,855.19, while the cost of a single-phase meter was raised from N36,991.50 to N44,896.17.
Going by the hike in prices, findings showed that for three phase meters, a total of N534.93bn would be required to meter the 6,456,275 unmetered electricity users across the country.
Also, a total of N289.86bn would be required to meter the same number of customers if single phase meters are to be deployed to nationwide.
This implies that currently, the minimum amount required to provide meters for unmetered electricity users in Nigeria is N289.86bn.
The NERC had established another set of operators in the sector known as Meter Asset Providers to work with electricity distribution companies for the provision of meters.
This, however, had yet to impact much, as power distributors urged operators in the sector to work in alliance and be coordinated in order to address the equipment development gaps in the business.
The NERC confirmed in its most recent quarterly report for the sector that the impact of MAPs had not been much, although the initiative had helped to increase the number of metered customers to marginally.
NERC stated, “The metering gap for end-use customers is still a key challenge in the industry.
“The records of the commission indicate that, of the 10,374,597 registered electricity customers, only 3,918,322 have been metered as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.”
It said over 62 per cent of registered power users were still on estimated billing, which had contributed to customer apathy towards payment for electricity.