FG vows to phase out substandard electricity metering system
By Uzoh Ugwueze, Enugu
The federal government has assured Nigerians that all the metres being installed across the country are in line with the approved standard. Minister of state for power, Goddy Jeddy Agba said this in Enugu during an inspection of the just-concluded South-East zonal office of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA.
He said as the federal government pushed forward its mass metering programme there would be no room for compromises as appropriate mechanisms had been put in place.
Agba said after the inspection that, “I came to see what has been done ahead of the commissioning of the meter testing facility we are going to have here. “The metres being imported must meet our standard; if they import the metres our facility here will test to ensure that it meets the standard Nigeria requires before they are installed.
“We have to be sure that it is not Malaysian standard, but Nigerian standard; I am satisfied with what I have seen and I’m optimistic that it will be commissioned (sic) in the next 6-8 weeks.
“Our function is to test and make sure that they are ok; the body responsible for installation the President has given them a mandate and 36 million metres must be installed by the end of June this year, we hope that that committee will meet it.”
Also speaking, Engr. Peter Eweso, the managing director of NEMSA and chief electrical inspector of the federation disclosed that “metre test station is established as a quality control mechanism for the power sector. This is to ensure that no metre can be deployed, installed or put into use until it has been tested here and it meets the requirement of Nigerian metering code.”
He added that “The metering code was put in place by the regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, so any metre that has not passed through here cannot be installed, cannot be used, whether it is the national mass metering programme, whether it is the metre access provider regulation, any metre that is to be deployed either by the contractor, suppliers, manufacturers, must go through test here and there are two types of test that must be done here.
“One is to ensure that this metre has never been used anywhere in Nigeria and we have to check it out to ensure that it is not a metre somebody just got to UK, US anywhere and buy from the shelve; this is a metre that has been properly made to meet those specifications in the metering code, it is a type test.
“When you now want to deploy large quantity metre, we do what we call routine test to be sure that the quality that was approved in the type test is what the person has brought, not that the person gives us a good metre and when supplying large quantities, you can supply any type of metre.
“Here too, this meter test station is the one that will serve the entire South-East; before now, there is none. From this meter test station, we will also be doing what is called periodic testing of meters, to ensure that what you are consuming is what you are paying for and for safety too because houses can catch fire if the right metres are not installed.”
On when the facility would be put to use, the NEMSA boss revealed that “it will be inaugurated before the middle of May; this one is pre-inspection in preparation for the inauguration; it has been completed, most of the furniture is there but we are expecting the balance of equipment.”