Three months on, FEC approved N27b pre-paid metres yet to arrive
THREE months after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) under the administration of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, approved a contract for supply and installation of 753002 prepaid electricity meters at the cost of N27 billion in the country, the metres are yet to be supplied.
It was gathered that the prepaid meters are meant to be distributed to electricity customers through distribution companies (disco).
According to a document published on the website of the Bureau of Public Procurement, the supply contract, approved on May 20,2015 was awarded to seven companies. They are Ziklagsis Network Limited (ZNL), Electricity Meter Company Nigeria Plc, Norman Electricity Meters, Mojec International Limited, Unistar Hi-Tech Dystems Limited, ENL Consortium Limited and Lysander Or-Tech Nigeria Limited.
The companies were said to have been mandated to supply 376501 each of single phase and 3-phase meters which cost N8.3 billion and N18.8 billion respectively. To execute the project, the Federal Government sourced $200 million from the Eurobond, in addition to the $88.6 million proceeds from the sales of NIPP power plants.
In his response to The Guardian’s enquiries on the issue, the Deputy Director of Press, Ministry of Power, Timothy Oyedeji, said, “the contract is frustrated because of the subsisting issues in court.” According to him, there is a disagreement among parties to the contract, which is already placed before a court.
Oyedeji, who suggested that The Guardian speak to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), said Ministry of Power is just a supervising ministry, which gives policy direction to the operators in the sector.
When contacted, the Chairman of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, denied knowledge of the contract. “I don’t know anything about the contract, I think you should call the discos (Distribution Companies),” Amadi said.
Spokesman of Eko Disco, Mr. Godwin Idemudia, told The Guardian his organization has not received any of the metres promised by the Federal Government. “We heard about the contract, but that is all. We have not taken supply from any company till date,” he said.
One of the companies that won the supply contract, Mojec International, expressed disappointment at the outcome of the project. The chairperson of the company, Mrs. Mojisola Abdul, said her company has not received order from the Federal Government. She said the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Power has inspected her factory, but nothing has happened since then.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, was reported in May to have given assurance that the meters were still on procurement. “In procurement, you must follow due process,” he was quoted to have said, in the report.
According to Igali, approval for the procurement is intact “but nobody can touch it until the procurement process with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) is completed.”
Three months after, Nigerians are still waiting for the prepaid meters to arrive.