FG to begin distribution of prepaid meters


The Federal Government will soon begin distributing the four million free electricity prepaid meters promised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This was made known to State House Correspondents by the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, after the week’s virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

It would be recalled that the CBN had promised to augment the Federal Government’s distribution of free prepaid meters with additional four million pieces.

However, fielding questions during the post-FEC briefing, Minister said the government was almost getting through with the distribution of its initial one million meters to Nigerians, which he tagged the phase zero, and would soon commence the distribution of the four million, which he tagged phase one.

Saleh also said there had been an improvement in power generation, explaining that the country is now generating as much as 5,000 megawatts from the initial 3,000 megawatts.

Speaking about the distribution of the prepaid meters, Saleh said “it’s ongoing, we are almost rounding off. We have almost finished with phase zero, we are now going into phase one of the distribution of the meters, that is the remaining four million the Central Bank promised to augment with.

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“The first set is one million, we’re about to finish with that, but you know, it’s not the target, one million is very negligible compared to the demand of Nigerians”, he said.

Asked whether there was any improvement in power generation, he said, “we are improving, it (power generation) has improved, you can see, I don’t have to tell you.

“We are moving from 3000 megawatts, today we are generating up to 5000 megawatts or over that, so it is a great improvement”, he said.

The minister said that government was making sure that supply was stable and also working towards ensuring that it upgrades the supply “from say 4000 megawatts to 5000 to 6000 to 7000 megawatts and so on.

“So, the more we replace some obsolete and outdated equipment, the more we improve the supply of electricity.”

Asked whether he agreed with the report that over 70 per cent of Nigerians who have electricity supply have less than 12 hours a day, he said, “It all depends. You know we have graded the supply based on the metering.

“Unless the meters are sufficient, we will not know which and where to push 24 hours supplies because there are some people who are ready for 24 hours and there are those who are not ready for 24 hours supply of light.

“So, we have graded according to that priorities and like we have been saying, I will keep telling Nigerians that this tariff issue, those who are not getting 24 hours are not equally charged like those who are getting 24 hours. So, there is a difference. Until you have a meter, then you’ll know what you consume at the end of the day”, he said.