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Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) will begin the process of distributing meters to customers today under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulation enacted by the regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), but those who pay for meters will not own them and may not move them.
Customers have raised concerns on whether they will be allowed to pay in instalment for the meters and if they would be able to take them along with them when they move away from their residence.
NERC has said that customers would have the option of paying for the meters in instalment but some third-party investors who have been outsourced the task of providing the meters by the DisCos have said a prompt payment for the meters will help them meet their obligation to their bankers.
“Customers can either pay outright for a meter, or they can pay for the meter over a 10-year period via a monthly metering services charge for the meter and the associated metering services that would be provided by the MAP to the customers,” said Odion Omonfoman, managing director, New Hamshire Capital Ltd, whose firm is one of the MAPs for Ikeja DisCo.
“For customers who pay outright for a meter, the DisCo owns the meter. For customers who pay in instalment for the meter, the MAP owns the meter until the customer fully pays for the meter. In this instance, the ownership of the meter reverts to the DisCo,” Omonfoman said.
Yet, the process is not automatic.