Efforts by the Federal Government to improve metering is yielding results as the companies that applied to be part of the meter asset provider (MAP) policy are going through the process of being certified by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, told newsmen on the sideline of the inuaguration of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency’s (NEMSA’s) upgraded and remodelled chemical and engineering laboratory at Ijora-Olopa, Lagos State that meter issue will soon be addressed.
Fashola said: “We have a policy on metering, which is the meter asset provider (MAP) policy, which allows new businesses to enter the metering area. Just the way generation (GenCos) and distribution companies (DisCos) were licensed, we will license them as MAPs in the value chain of power supply.
“This will relieve the pressure on the finances of DisCos to supply meters, but it does not discharge theDisCos of the contractual obligation that they have to do but we know they (disCos) are challenged by financing.
“We think we can open this business up for new operators to come in. At this moment 108 companies have applied and are going through the process of being certified by the NERC, among others. The policy is now playing out and the distance and transition between policy and impact you will see as we go on as supply of meters begin to trickle down.
“When those companies begin to operate they will employ a lot of people – fitters, technicians, installers and those into wiring will be trained. Many of them have been trained by our training institute, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).
“Nigerians will see economic renaissance in the electricity sub-sector when MAPs come into operation just like what happened in the retail telecoms sector–telephone sales, repair and vending, among others.”
On the laboratory, the Minister said: “We have an upgraded and properly fitted laboratory to help the agency in charge of enforcing safety compliance to actually do its job. They now have tools to offer better service delivery.”
Managing Director/CEO and Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, Mr. Peter o. Ewesor, said laboratory upgrade is a major milestone for NEMSA in the enhancement of its functions and mandate at enforcing technical standards and regulations as they relate to electrical materials, power equipment and industry-related chemicals by providing quality chemical and engineering tests and analytical services to the generation, transmission and distribution companies, hydro power stations and other related companies in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and the nation at large.
Ewesor said: “The chemical and engineering laboratory is one of the vintage assets in NEMSA, currently being strategically positioned to ensure that only the right type, quality and specification of insulating oil/chemicals, electrical materials, lubricants of various grades, among others, are used in the NESI and other allied industries.
“This laboratory has been operating as a reference quality control laboratory for the entire power industry since the era of the defunct NEPA and PHCN, and now in the post-privatisation era when NEMSA took it over in a dilapidated state in 2014. NEMSA, in realisation of its key role in furthering its mandate as enshrined in NEMSA Act-2015, embarked on the upgrading and remodelling of its chemical and engineering laboratory Ijora-Olopa, Lagos to provide accurate tests and analyses of insulating and cooling oils, lubricants and electrical properties of materials used in electrical equipment deployed or to be deployed in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry and in other allied industries and workplaces in Nigeria.
“In line with NEMSA’s mandate as per NEMSA Act – 2015, the agency is to amongst others provide sustained technical inspection, testing and certification of all electrical materials, (including transformer oil and chemicals) or equipment, power systems, networks (generation, transmission and distribution), or electrical installations to be used in the power sector, to ensure a stable system to deliver safe, reliable, regular power supply, guarantee safety of lives and property, and avert loss of lives and property in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. The effective performance of these services will enhance and sustain power supply stability in Nigeria.”
He continued:“This laboratory is equipped with a wide range of world class test equipment, instruments, and devices including Dissolved Gas Analyser (DGA) – a diagnostic equipment for detecting, identifying and evaluating incipient faults occurring within transformers and reactors; Dielectric Strength Tester – to determine the insulation levels; Kinematic Viscometers – which determines oil viscosity & flow rate of the sample at specific temperatures; Potentiometric Titrator for determining the acidity/acid number present in an oil sample which is used as a measure of oil degradation and deterioration; Interfacial Tension Test Meter for determining the interfacial tension of an oil sample in an oil – water interphase; Cube Strength Testing machine for determining the strength of the concrete used for the manufacture of electric concrete poles; CoulometricTitrator for moisture content analysis, pH meters, Muffle furnace, Multimeters, among others.