According to African adage, ” Free things can kill” , is as simple as what you are about to read in this article.
In Nigeria, once it is announced that something is coming to you free of charge, be calm to read the conditions that follow such free things.
According to the information made available on social media platform, the federal government of Nigeria is planning to distribute meters to households across the country, especially those that do not have meters and the distribution is quite free of charge. But what we should be aware of is that the federal government is also increasing the power tariff, this means that you will be paying more for purchasing units.
Power consumers nationwide may start to pay more for electricity, following plans by the Federal Government to carry out a review of power tariff, The PUNCH has learnt.
This came as the Federal Government said on Wednesday it had commenced the procurement of four million meters meant to be distributed free of charge to unmetered power users nationwide.
It also put the number of unmetered electricity consumers in Nigeria at about eight million, adding that over 860, 000 meters were distributed for free to power users under phase zero of the National Mass Metering Programme.
It was learnt on Wednesday the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission would review the country’ s power tariffs by next month, barring any unforeseen circumstance.
On the four million free meters being procured, the Deputy General Manager, Consumer Affairs, NERC, Shittu Shuaibu, described it as the phase one of the NMMP, which had commenced.
Shuaibu, who spoke during a live radio programme monitored in Abuja, said the Meter Asset Providers, working with the distribution companies, had been able to deploy about 860, 000 meters under phase zero of the mass metering programme.
He said, ” The programme is supposed to run in three phases which include phase zero, phase one and phase two. Phase zero was rounded up around the end of October. Phase one has actually commenced and it is another government intervention of about four million meters.
” So far we have deployed about 860, 000 or close to 900, 000 meters, which were part of the one million meters that was procured as part of government intervention. For the four million meters, the procurement process has commenced. ”
He explained that the mass metering intervention was not free as such because the government was giving out loans for the provision of these meters to Nigerians.
Shuaibu said power distribution companies would be part of the loans and were to refund it over a period of 10 years at a very reasonable rate through the Central Bank of Nigeria.