Minister for power, works and Housing Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola said he has secured the release of about 300,000 electricity meters which belonged to defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The meters were locked up in a warehouse following of a lingering legal case against the contract for their procurement.
Fashola disclosed this in a YouTube question and answer webinar monitored in Abuja monday that hopefully this huge volume of meters would be put to good use by the electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country.
He explained further that the contract for the procurement of the meters was awarded by PHCN in 2003 but that legal actions instituted by parties in the contract had stalled their eventual deployment to homes in the 11 electricity distribution networks since then.
However, he said the case had been settled out court and alternative settlement reached by the parties.
Fashola said he will ensure that the warehouse where the meters are kept would be opened and they deployed.
The minister also gave an update on the status of the lingering contractual dispute between Geometric Power Limited, owners of the 180 megawatts (MW) Geometric Aba Power Plant and Enugu Disco over Aba business unit which was reportedly cut off and ceded to Geometric by the federal government in an agreement but which Enugu Disco has also contested.
He said he had succeeded in getting both parties to now sit down and negotiate to settle the dispute, adding that he was hopeful that production of power from the 180MW capacity independent power plant would soon commence.
“There is a contract that was awarded in 2003 for the supply of meters by the old PHCN and it ended up in court and that is for about 13 years.
“We couldn’t supply those meters and people were bickering and fighting, we have taken that case really out of court and we are trying to close it and hopefully take delivery of the meters that have been locked up in the warehouse, I think about 300,000 meters or so. Hopefully, they will be useful for some purpose.”
He stated: “All the Discos today have about six million consumers combined in their database. Are you saying to me that in reality it is only six million people that are using electricity in Nigeria, just imagine the number of people who are using electricity that is not measured or metered and that is free.
“Out of that six million that they have, they have metered about three million inherited and added on, so there is still a gap of close to 50 per cent of that six million that needs to be metered,” he added.
On the Geometric dispute with Enugu Disco, he said: “There is a problem with Aba Disco by Geometric Power Plant, there is 190MW there and they are having issues and they are not talking, we have brought them to start talking because if they close, there is the potential to get 190MW into the grid.”