The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mojec International, Chantelle Abdul, has said the metering gap in Nigeria will be addressed with funding intervention from the Federal Government.
Abdul spoke in Abuja as distribution companies (DisCos) kick-started the mass metering project across the country. She decried that lack of finance had caused the metering gap, which currently stands at almost 10 million, adding that with the Government’s intervention, there will be adequate supply of meters.
She was also excited that by manufacturing the meters locally, more jobs would be provided, while foreign currency would be preserved.
Abdul said: “So, technically speaking, it is free because you don’t have to pay cash anymore. The former regime was that you have to pay cash. Not necessarily that you have to pay cash but encouraged to pay upfront if you can afford it.
“Now, you do not have to pay cash; we will finance it. In a bid to fast-track closing the metering gap, which today still stands at almost about 10 million, the government is intervening by providing funding for the utilities.
“This has been the biggest missing link with the meters. Now, financing is coming.
“But the metering is going to be in phases and I want us to understand that not everyone will get the meter in one month because the production and the rolling out will take some time.
“Nevertheless, there is enough in terms of volume. This first tranche is one million out of the six million after which there are secondary and tertiary phases. But I believe that by this time next year, we should be talking about two to three million metres hopefully across the catchment states, not just in Abuja,” she said.
On the need for locally manufactured meters, Abdul noted that although it could be cheaper to import, it was wiser to support local production as a way to create jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerians.
She also explained that locally-produced metres have proven to be of standard quality, and they are designed to withstand the weather intensity.
“As a nation, do we have to import all our jobs? Do we export our money abroad, or do we as a country retain it so that our country can benefit?
“Never again shall we have 10 million metering gaps, except maybe in 10 to 20 years from now when we probably want to replace these ones.
“This is the opportunity for wealth creation for our people. When I take that order to China, I create jobs for Chinese. We don’t have enough dollars as a country as at today but I will also make sure that I collect all the naira that I can and change to dollars to pay them. What does that do? That increases their Gross Domestic Products and purchase power priority as well.
“It does so much for their own economy, though it might not significantly impact their economy, but it is capital export for us. So, I am a staunch supporter of job creation in our country,” she said.