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UNDERSTANDING THE NEW METER ASSET PROVIDER AND NATIONAL MASS METERING REGULATIONS

Understanding the New Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulation, 2021

Introduction

The Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulation 2021 (MAPNMMR) was made by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to amend the Meter Asset Provider Regulation of 2018 and to provide standard rules for the implementation of metering programmes approved by the NERC. Like the repealed Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation before it, the MAPNMMR has the following objectives:

  1. To close the metering gap through an accelerated roll out of meters.
  2. To eliminate the prevalent practice of estimated billing in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
  3. To attract private investment in the provision of meters and metering services in the NESI.
  4. To enhance revenue assurance at the retail end of the NESI.

The aim of the MAPNMMR is therefore to correct the shortcomings of the MAP Regulations which had recorded little success.

The Meter Asset Provider Regulations, 2018

The MAP provided for payment options with a view to bridging the country’s existing metering gap – an option for customers to make upfront payments for the meters to the MAPs and a Metering Service Charge (MSC) option where customers bore the price of the meters under a recurring payment plan for the life of the meters.

Unfortunately, the MSC option recorded limited success due to the absence of risk mitigation mechanisms for payment defaults and the inability of the MAP to secure medium/long term financing with a tenor longer than 5 years. For the period covering 1 August 2019 to 30 June 2021, only 11,898 meters were installed under the MSC option whereas 571,835 meters were installed under the upfront payment. The limited success of the MAP Regulations together with the desire of the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, close the metering gap for end-users resulted in the Federal Government approving a policy intervention known as the National Mass Metering Programme in 2020.

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