Sen.Gabriel Suswan (PDP Benue) has advised Federal Government to purchase prepaid meters in bulk as a holder of 40 per cent equity in distribution chain to bridge metering gap in the electricity sector.
Suswan gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday while suggesting possible solution to challenge of poor power supply and distribution of prepaid meters by DisCos in the electricity market.
Suswan, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, also said that government could also decide to divest its equity in the distribution chain if it wanted.
“It is another way out , if government wants to divest part of their equity holding, in this power, so they could introduce new monies into the entities.
“Another way is for government , as part of their own obligation, holding 40 per cent, to buy mass meters and then put it before the DisCos and ask them to pay over a period of time.
“In that way, government can purchase, say about six million meters, and this will ensure that at least every person is connected to the grid; if not all of them between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of them are metered.
“If 90 per cent of people consuming electricity are metered, of course the sector will become solvent, because collection will become easy.
“Why are they unable to collect, it is because there is infrastructural deficit which includes that of metering as well, so, once these things are put in place and power supply becomes efficient, you and I will not mind the increase in tariff,” he said.
He said there was need for enumeration of people connected to the national grid and get them metered.
“There are laws that have to be put in place, they need enumeration of people who are connected to the national grid, those people have to be metered, when you meter people you are sure of collection, all of these have not been done.
“From Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, statistics shows that 10 million people are connected to national grid, out of which only four million are metered.
“So, how do you get the money if you say cost reflective tariff, because you have six million connected to the national grid that have yet to be metered,” he said.(NAN)