Following the alleged procurement process violation by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) over the $500 million Distribution Section Recovery, local meter manufacturers have attempted to prevent the opening of bids once more, the Vanguard reports.
Energy Afrique reports that the Nigerian government last week 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.
A committee under the present administration’s renewed hope initiative advised the Minister of Power to urge enterprises to minimise meter imports in order to build a sustainable local manufacturing capacity and create much-needed employment at this time.
The request comes as the Federal High Court in Kano prepares to hear the case between the incorporated Trustees of the Association of Meter Manufacturers of Nigeria (AMMON) in Suit No: FHC/KN/262/2023 and Transmission Company of Nigeria TCN, NERC, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Power, and Bureau of Public Procurement on Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
It can be recalled that on October 3, 2023, the association filed an ex parte motion asking the court to grant an interim order preventing the 1st Defendants and Respondents from taking any further actions towards the conclusion of the bid procurement process.
The process is for the supply and installation of smart meters to (11) distribution companies, as announced by TCN on March 30th, 2023, with a completion deadline of October 5th, 2023.
Justice A. M. Liman, the presiding judge, also ordered an interim injunction prohibiting the defendants from terminating, interfering with, frustrating, or cancelling the due performance or execution of the contract award between the TCN and members of AMMON.
Despite the Judge’s injunction, TCN went ahead and opened the auction on October 5, 2023. While granting AMMON’s application, Justice Liman stated that it is subject to an undertaking regarding damages if it is found that the application was not meritorious.
He further granted that the motion on notice be moved on the 18th of October, 2023, with the caveat that if the motion is not ripe for hearing on the day set for hearing owing to the fault of the Plaintiff or his counsel, the interim order will immediately elapse.
TCN has sought and received a $155 million loan from the World Bank for the National Mass Metering Project (NMMP).
According to the medium, the Association of Meter Manufacturers of Nigeria (AMMON) reminded the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Olawale Edun, in a letter of protest and reminder that despite a court order to the bid opening on Thursday, October 13, 2023, the TCN continues to violate the procurement process.
AMMON referred to “their correspondences to the Ministers of Finance, Budget, and National Planning on the 17th of April 2023, and letter to the Permanent Secretary Finance (dated 7th June 2023, presented their grave concerns on the systemic violation of the procurement act insensitivity and misalignment with local content directives as contained in” the letter signed by Ademola Agoro, Acting President, and Duro Omogbenigun, Secretary.
The Distribution Section, Recovery Programme (DISREP) is a $500 million loan facility approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the supply and installation of 1,250,000 Fully Built Unit (FBU) Smart meters to Nigeria’s 11 Distribution Companies (Discos), according to the 36 Members Company Association.
The bulk metering procurement procedure is managed by TCN’s Project Management Unit (PMU) and monitored by (BPE) on behalf of the Finance Ministry.
The tender notice for the international competitive bidding (ICB) was issued on March 30, 2023, with a submission date of May 17, 2023.”
The Association of Meter Manufacturers of Nigeria (AMMON) is the umbrella body of Local Meter Manufacturers and Assemblers (LMMAs) with the sole goal of full domestication of all meter supply chains and currently boasts a significant local capacity in the manufacturing of key parts and assembly of all CKD/SKD components of smart meters distributed throughout the Federation.