Lawmaker calls for indigenous meter manufacturer support

By The Citizen

To encourage indigenous meter manufacturer in Nigeria, a member of the house committee of power at the National Assembly, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has urged the ministry of power and the new management of all Electricity Distribution Companies to promote and patronized local meter manufacturers.

Abike-Erewa who make the appealed during a facility tour to Momas Meter Manufacturing Company Limited (MOMCOL)at the weekend in Lagos. She said the only way to ensure economy growth in Nigeria is when local Small and Medium Entrepreneurs are encourage and patronized, adding that Nigeria has the best meter manufacturing company in Nigeria and there is no need importing meter to the country. According to her, Am shocked when I saw all the equipment at MEMCOL meter manufacturing company in Nigeria, I don't believe that we can have this kind of facility and sophisticated equipment in Nigeria and we still complaint about metering challenges. “Despite this local companies striving to manufacture energy meters, we still go ahead to import meter, this is indeed very bad to our system. Am amazed with what am seeing here today, it will be a big shame if we do not make use of what am seeing here as regard meter manufactured in our own country. “Have held a lot of this place, and its overwhelming, we have to learn to believed in our people, we have to learn to celebrate ourselves and decided that we are going to develop. As a parliamentarian, am going to discussed with my chairman on power and members of the house committee on power on ways to enforce local content patronage in meter manufacturing companies. “Dabiri-Arewa said that from what that is had been observed it shows that there is no patronage despite all meters produced in anticipation for market use for better quality that you cant get anywhere in the world. She said that all DISCOs in Nigeria should ensure that all its customers are metered to avoid estimated billing and overbilling as it often complaints by customers. The lawmakers said that the legislators we ensure that local content is embedded in Power sector just as it were done in the oil and gas sector. “We are going to invite all parties involves be it DISCOs owners, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), ministry of power and all stakeholders to know why local manufacturer are not been patronized. “We as a parliamentarian, under the chairman of Honourable Arikhale we look at it, Nigeria deserved better electricity service and we are going get to the root of the challenge in the sector. “There is needs for us to give deadline to all DISCOs on installations of pre-paid meter to all electricity customers, but we equally gathered that most new owner faced challenged of finance and they are cash cruche. Dabiri-Arewa tasked new investors in the power sector to step up efforts aimed at improving electricity generation, transmission and distribution in the country.

She further noted that electricity meters have suddenly disappeared, especially in rural areas and called on the new investors to ensure that an effective meter scheme is rolled out for electricity consumer, adding that all hands should be on deck to ensure that Lagos and the country at large is light up.

The chairman, Momas Meter Manufacturing Company Limited (MOMCOL) of MEMECOL, Engr. Kola Balogun , An indigenous meter manufacturer, decried the poor patronage of his products by government agencies and companies. he said that the low patronage was stifling the growth of local industries. “Indigenous manufacturers do not get enough patronage from government ministries and that is why our economy is not growing,“ he said. According to him, the revolution in telecommunications can be sustained in Nigeria through indigenous innovations. “The story of poor patronage is still the same in meter manufacturing where foreign firms are better patronised and recognised by government agencies. “I can confidently say that we local manufacturers of meters can meet our supply needs, “ he said. Balogun said that employment opportunities would triple if local manufacturers got more support from government at all levels. He said that the local content policy of government would not succeed if home-made innovations were not adequately utilised. “I can tell you that our company has 100 per cent local content in the manufacture of meters. “Even all our operations and the production processes are managed by Nigerians,“ he told NAN. He said that Nigeria's power sector reforms would be meaningless if more considerations were not given to local manufacturers of electricity equipment. Balogun said that access to credit would shore up indigenous manufacturers in both power and telecommunications sectors. “Nigeria has reached a stage where she is not supposed to be importing meters. “In our company alone, we have a production capacity of 500,000 to one million meters a month. “ According to him, no nation can develop without enough supply of electricity to industries and no business can be profitable with the power supply situation in Nigeria. He said that meter manufacturer are faced with challenges of low patronage despite producing meter n ancipation of buying by the DISCOs Balogun said that most manufacturers are faced with bank issues when money borrowed to run a business are not paid on time as slated. He said that meter installation is faced with policy summated , adding that most new owner had stopped local meter manufacturer from supplying meter in anticipation to import meter from outside the country.