Indigenous companies can meet the requirement for meters, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.
Fashola, who spoke after he visited Mojec International, a meter manufacturing plant in Lagos, expressed delight that there are Nigerian firms that can meet the metering demand of the country. He, however, wondered why there is still a huge meter gap between demand and supply.
According to him, all that is required for the indutry to thrive, is for players in the power sector, especially the distribution companies and meter manufacturers, to embrace persuasion and reasoning to be able to play their role, adding that this would make the sector more competitive in terms of pricing and quality of service delivery in the local market.
He said: “I think that commercial things should be done by persuasion, reason and the dynamics of the economy. When the market is competitive in terms of pricing and quality, then it will make more business sense to produce and patronise meters locally.”
Mojec International Managing Director, Mrs.Chantelle Abdul, said the lack of finance to run factories, as well as the inability to provide some kind of vendor financing to off-takers remains a major challenge for meter manufacturing.
“One of our critical issues at the moment is lack of access to foreign exchange. A lot of our manufacturing inputs rely on goods abroad. My goal as a manufacturer, is to produce much of my products with local inputs so that we can go as far as producing our chips and the PCB which is the brain of the meter and all other components that are required,” she said.
She regretted that because the country lacks auxiliary firms that can support bigger manufacturing firms, it is increasingly becoming difficult for the sector to produce with locally sourced inputs, thereby increasing cost of production.