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MAPs seeks meter price hike, unhindered access to FOREX among others

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Story from Sunday OGWUCHE, Abuja

Meters Assets Providers (MAPs) operating in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) have demanded an upward review of the current price of prepaid meter by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

MAPs in a communique drawn at the end of their meeting in Lagos said the demand became necessary “in view of rising inflation, continued upward movement of foreign exchange rates, associated increases in custom costs, increase in container freight costs, and the disruptions in the international supply chain, leading to a global increase in the prices of raw materials and components for the manufacture of prepaid meters.”

MAPs however noted that there will be a corresponding downward review of meter prices when there is a downward movement in foreign exchange rates and other cost factors.

Speaking on the sideline of the meeting earlier, the CEO of Holley Metering Ltd and Celdon Group Ifeanyi Okeke praise the foresight of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele,  for his foresight and strategic funding of the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP) to close the metering gap and end estimated billing.

Asking for more, the meter providers urged CBN to guarantee access to foreign exchange (FOREX) to Local meter manufacturers and assemblers for the procurement of parts and accessories (Completely Knocked Down (CKD) or Semi Knocked Down (SKD) parts,  including equipment for meter manufacturing/production as well as expansion of factory infrastructure.

They equally urged that the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) should be encouraged to create dedicated desks/teams at the various ports to fast track the clearing of prepaid meters and components from the ports to improve on delivery timelines.

Further, it is crucial that Fed Min of Finance and Customs harmonize and provide clarity on HS codes for uniform assessment as relates to meters, meters parts,  components and accessories.

They demanded a change in the modalities for the implementation of the presidential waiver of the 35% levy on fully built prepaid meters and extension up to December 2022.  The list of all NERC approved MAPs benefitting from the levy waiver should be made available by NERC/FMF to the Customs to circulate to their commands, thus removing the requirement from MAPs to individually apply to NERC each time.

They noted the MAP scheme is critical to the closing of the metering gap hence it should be carried along in the implementation of the National mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

“MAPs are crucial to the attainment of the mass metering roll-out having invested, built and trained critical manpower and logistics for installation and management of prepaid meters,” they said.

The industry players who urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to convene an urgent roundtable meeting of all stakeholders in the metering sector also urged the Nigerian Electricity Management Safety Agency (NEMSA) to drive a review of material requirements for the production of meter and metering components and accessories such as meter boxes, relays etc, to facilitate the utilisation of available local materials to increase local input in the deployment of meters and reduce foreign currency requirements.

MAPs members at the meeting included: MEMMCOL (Momas), MOJEC International Limited, Protogy Global Services Ltd, UNISTAR Hi-Tech Ltd, Integrated Resources Ltd, Conlog Metering Nigeria Limited, New Hampshire Capital Limited, Holley Metering Limited, Tinuten Nigeria Ltd, Gospell Digital Technology Ltd, Integrated Power Ltd, Cresthill Engineering Ltd, Bendoriks International, and CWG Plc, while apologies were rendered for a few others.

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