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FG approves N21bn for provision of free meters

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Federal Government has approved N21bn under the Presidential Metering Initiative to close the country’s metering gap by providing meters to unmetered power users at no cost.

That was announced in an order by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Friday with the number – NERC/2024/072, titled “Order on the Operationalisation of ‘Tranche A’ of the Meter Acquisition Fund”.

The commission stated that the deployment of funds under the Meter Acquisition Fund scheme would accelerate the deployment of meters and close the current metering gap.

It added that this would help in reducing commercial and collection losses to power distribution companies, enhancing the quality of service, and improving customer satisfaction.

“The funds accrued as of the April 2024 market settlement cycle and available for procurement of meters under the first tranche of the MAF scheme is in the sum of NGN21,864,851,725. The commission hereby approves the use of a sum of NGN21,000,000,000 apportioned pro rata to contribution by the Discos as Tranche A of the MAF scheme,” NERC stated in the new order.

It said the fund was broken down and allocated to each Disco for the purchase of end-use customer meters.

“All the meters to be procured and installed under the MAF framework shall be at no cost to the customers of the Discos,” the power sector regulator noted.

The commission further said, “This order shall become effective on June 13, 2024, and may be amended or revoked by subsequent orders issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.”

In ia bid to ensure the metering of power consumers, NERC introduced the Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018 and subsequently, the Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations in 2021.

The regulations provided several options for metering customers but the interventions, though significant, have not resulted in the closure of the national metering gap, which currently stands over seven million customers.

The inability of distribution companies to raise financing in the form of debt or additional equity has been identified as the major constraint in the acquisition and deployment of end-use meters and other capital investments.

The Meter Acquisition Fund scheme was, therefore, developed and approved by the commission, primarily to address the challenge of Disco credit worthiness inhibiting the deployment of end-use meters in NESI by creating a credible revenue stream from the market funds on the back of which long term financing may be secured by the utilities.

The funds, according to NERC, shall be under the management of the fund manager based on terms and conditions negotiated by the Discos and approved by the commission.

The Federal Government approved the Presidential Metering Initiative to close the metering gap in the NESI within three years, leveraging smart metering technologies for data analytics.

The commission also approved the deregulation of meter prices under the MAP scheme vide order NERC/2024/040 to ensure on efficient pricing of meters while responding more quickly to changes in macroeconomic parameters.

The order provided that all prices of meters under the MAP scheme should be determined through a transparent and competitive bidding process by eligible MAPs.

“A competitive bidding process was held on May 21, 2024, based on the provisions of Order NERC/2024/040, where a total of 24 MAPs participated across the 12 Discos. A total of 44 bids were submitted for 10-meter specifications.

“While the NESI is expected to leverage on the revenue stream under the MAF framework to raise substantial capital funding for metering, there is an imperative to accelerate a closure of the metering gap for all customers currently classified under tariff Band A for revenue protection and facilitating demand side management for the affected customers,” NERC stated.

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Samoa: Sexual Orientation Is A Big Lie, Political Manipulation Of Europe – ECOWAS Commissioner

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By Gloria Ikibah 
 
ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, has said that the issue of sexual orientation is a political manipulation of the Europe.
 
Prof. Sarr stated this during an interactive session with ECOWAS Commissioners on the implementation of the programmes of of their departments, at thr ongoing 2024 Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS on Friday in Abuja. 
 
Naijablitznews.com reports that members of Parliament has expressed their concerns and worries about the Samoa Agreement and sexual orientation, and they wanted to know the position of ECOWAS Commission on the subject matter.
 
Responding to the quest, the ECOWAS Commissioner said, “Gender and LGBT is a big lie and is a manipulation for political reasons. Gender is a science but sexual orientation is political.
 
“Masculine and feminine roles are societal construct, for instance you are not born a woman you become a woman”.
 
Giving an example of David Greyman who was born an hermaphrodite and was later turned to a woman, she said  “it is this theories that gives you the sexual theories”.
 
“The issue of ggender is a science and  there is a political agenda today in the world with regards the issues of gender.
 
“In my department nobody will come and tell me about LGBT. No partner will tell me about LGBT, I will not bend my back when it comes to partners”. 
 
On the Issue of funding of ECOWAS Sarr explained  that contrary to the speculations that 70 percent fund is from European partners, it is only 30 percent that comes from partners, while the remaining 70 percent is the contributions from members states.
 
“I am a specialist on gender issues for 30 years. We believe that gender is a science. Imposition of sexual orientation is a political agenda the Europeans wants to impose on us. We should not allow them to succeed”, she added. 
 
 
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Just in: Residents warned as hundreds of terrorists reportedly escape from Niger prison

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A large number of terrorists have reportedly escaped in a mass breakout at the high-security Koutoukalé prison in Niger Republic.

According to security expert Zagazola Makama, the incident happened on Thursday, resulting in the release of hundreds of terrorists, criminals, and drug traffickers.

The prison, situated near Niamey, the capital city, experienced a violent uprising that overwhelmed the guards, enabling the prisoners to escape with weapons and vehicles.

Witnesses said they heard gunfire and explosions around the afternoon time, which prompted a swift response from security forces.

However, by the time they arrived, the inmates had already taken control of the prison, breaching armored gates, barbed wire, and trenches.

The escape has raised serious questions about the security of the prison, which has previously thwarted two jihadist attempts to free comrades.

An investigation is underway to determine how the inmates were able to procure weapons and overpower their guards.

The Interior Minister has issued a radio message to all governors, confirming the escape and urging village chiefs and religious leaders to report any suspicious individuals.

A curfew has been declared in the Tillabéri region, and the entire River Niger region is on high alert.

The escape is considered a major security breach, and authorities are working to recapture the fleeing inmates.

The public has been warned to be vigilant and report any information that could aid in the recapture of the escaped prisoners.

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See photo of collapsed Saint Academy school in Jos

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The photo of the collapsed Saint Academy school in Jos, capital of Plateau state has emerged online.

Naijablitznews reports many students reportedly died in the building warehousing several students.

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