Power consumers across the country may begin to pay more for electricity as a result of the Federal Government’s plans to review power tariffs.
The Federal Government announced on Wednesday that it had begun the procurement of four million meters to be distributed free of charge to unmetered power users across the country.
It also estimated that there are about eight million unmetered electricity users in Nigeria, with over 860,000 meters distributed for free to power users as part of phase zero of the National Mass Metering Program.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is expected to review the country’s power tariffs by next month, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Shittu Shuaibu, NERC’s Deputy General Manager, Consumer Affairs, described the four million free meters being procured as phase one of the NMMP, which had begun.
He said the Meter Asset Providers had been able to deploy about 860,000 meters under phase zero of the mass metering programme, thanks to their collaboration with the distribution companies.
“The programme is supposed to run in three phases which include phase zero, phase one and phase two. Phase zero was rounded up around the end of October. Phase one has actually commenced and it is another government intervention of about four million meters.
“So far we have deployed about 860,000 or close to 900,000 meters, which were part of the one million meters that was procured as part of government intervention. For the four million meters, the procurement process has commenced,” Shuaibu added.
He explained that the mass metering intervention was not free because the government provided loans to Nigerians for the purchase of these meters.
According to Shuaibu, power distribution companies would be part of the loans, which would be repaid over a ten-year period at a low interest rate through the Central Bank of Nigeria.