The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has voiced its apprehensions over the impending displacement of local meter manufacturers and assemblers in the power sector due to the government’s implementation of the World Bank-funded National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) Phase II. The scheme aims to supply 1.2 million smart energy meters to Nigerian consumers.
MAN expressed its concern regarding the stringent financial requirements and technical specifications set by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which seem to favor foreign suppliers and exclude local manufacturers. According to the association, these conditions go against the Central Bank of Nigeria’s guidelines for the NMMP implementation and undermine the government’s backward integration policy.
Local meter manufacturers have invested significantly in expanding their capacities, training skilled workers, and meeting the demands of the power sector in alignment with the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry’s objectives. MAN fears that history may repeat itself, as in 2012 when local manufacturers were sidelined, leading to the supply of substandard meters by foreign companies that were eventually removed from the network.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria argued that the TCN’s decision to exclude local manufacturers overlooks their impressive track record, including the successful deployment and installation of over 611,000 energy meters nationwide between January 2019 and January 2021. By neglecting these achievements, the TCN risks missing out on substantial job creation potential and supporting domestic manufacturing.
Opinion: The concerns raised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria highlight a crucial issue in the implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme. It is essential for the government to strike a balance between attracting foreign investments and supporting the growth of local industries. Including local meter manufacturers in the supply chain not only promotes job creation but also strengthens Nigeria’s industrial capabilities. A collaborative approach that involves both domestic and foreign players can lead to a more robust and sustainable power sector for the country.