Nigerian government on Thursday began opening bids from 47 companies for the supply of 1.25 million electricity smart meters funded by the World Bank’s $155 million loan.
The bid opening is part of the country’s Mass Metering Programme started in 2021 with the supply of one million meters in “phase -0”. The phase-1 of the project however failed to kick off as the N200 billion funds expected from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, failed to materialise.
This prompted the World Bank intervention of a $500 million loan for phase 2 with the balance of $345 million going directly to the electricity distribution companies, DisCos, to fund the expansion of the distribution networks across the country.
Vanguard quoted the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Veihejen, while speaking at the opening of the bids in Abuja, expressing the commitment of the government to provide meters for all electricity customers and estimated billing in the Nigerian electricity market.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to delivering reliable and cleaner electricity to Nigerian people and businesses. We are embarking on reforms that will improve the performance of Distribution Companies as we continue our trajectory to cost-reflective tariffs. In the first step to fulfilling our campaign promise to end estimated billing, we are launching phase two of the ambitious National Mass Metering Programme.
“The phase involves procuring 1.2 million pre-paid meters, with the procurement process set to begin this month, ending estimated billing which Nigerians have complained about for decades and ensuring cost reflective tariff etc”, Veihejen stated.
Also speaking on the programme, the Assistant General Manager, World Bank PIU, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, Engr. Tukur Musa Bamalli, explained that the first set of meters under phase-2 are expected by June next year.
Engr. Bamalli explained that “we are procuring 1.25 million meters funded by the World Bank to supply the smart meters to the eleven distribution companies in order to end estimated billing. The loans became effective in February 2023. The contracts will be signed very soon.
“The NMMP is in three phases, phase 0, 1 and 2. This is under phase 2 of the mass metering programme funded by the World Bank for $155 million”.
He explained that local companies would be given special consideration as they are allowed “to bid up to 15 percent higher than the foreign companies for the lots available”.
He expressed optimism that the entire 1.25 million meters would have all been supplied by the first quarters of 2025.