MAN Raises Alarm Over World Bank-funded metering program

Says it threatens local producers and defies CBN guidelines

Nigerian Manufacturers have warned that the World Bank-funded phase II of the National Mass Metering Programme(NMMP) displaces local Nigerian meter producers and also negates CBN guidelines.

This was disclosed by the Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the government’s implementation process of the NMMP Phase II World Bank-funded supply of 1.2 million smart energy meters.

Ajayi-Kadir noted that the advertised financial requirements and technical specifications by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) appeared skewed against local manufacturers.

 The MAN chief also noted that requirements are stringent and negate the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) guidelines for the implementation of NMMP and portend grave danger for the power sector.

He urged against a repeat of the ugly scenario in 2012 where local manufacturers were sidelined in the meter supply and the nation was greeted with the supply of substandard meters supplied by foreign companies, he said:

“In keeping with the Federal Government’s backward integration policy and the advent of the NMMP intervention, manufacturers have made huge investments in the expansion of manufacturing capacities and trained highly skilled workforce to meet the demands of the power sector.”

MAN also noted an “intentional denial of the local manufacturers”, citing they were also excluded from phase zero of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), he said:

“The seeming intentional denial of the local manufacturers does not take into cognizance their sterling performance where they deployed and installed 611,231 energy meters across the country between 2019 and 2021.

“They also did the same for one million energy meters across the country under phase zero of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

“It should be recalled that our members have been denied the opportunity to fully execute the contract for the supply and installation of 4 million energy meters under Phase 1 of the NMMP scheme.“This was due to the unrealistic terms that arbitrarily fixed the contract prices far below the approved regulatory prices of energy meters in the country.

 MAN warned that the contractual term of payment after the supply and installation of the meters have not been adhered to, thereby jeopardizing the financial capabilities of its members that participated in the scheme.

They added that the subsisting Executive Order 003 on the patronage of made-in-Nigeria products which gives priority consideration to local businesses should be adhered to, saying:

“As a nation that aspires to make progress and improve the well-being of its people, it is unconscionable that we continuously make the same mistakes.

“We counsel that the excellent constitutional amendment that enlisted power generation and transmission in the concurrent list, should be complemented with the liberalisation of the distribution end of the value chain.

 It  reported last week that Electricity Meter companies in Nigeria under the Association of Meter Manufacturers and Assemblers Nigeria (AMMON) urged President Bola Tinubu to ban foreign companies from bidding for the manufacturing of electricity meters organized by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

They also urged FG not to use the World Bank’s $155 million for the importation of electricity meters into the country.

AMMON said it wants foreign bids banned due to the nature of the bidding process which they say highly favors foreign companies.

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