Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed that he has secured the release of about 300,000 electricity meters which belonged to defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) but were locked up in a warehouse because of a lingering legal case against the contract for their procurement.
Fashola said in a YouTube question and answer webinar which THISDAY monitored in Abuja recently that hopefully this huge volume of meters would be put to good use by the electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country.
He explained that the contract for 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.
According to him, that case has been moved out from the court and alternative settlement reached by the parties. He said that this would 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 that he has succeeded in getting both parties to now sit down and negotiate to settle the dispute, adding that he is 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,” said Fashola who disclosed that 11 Discos have just six million electricity consumers in their database.