The Federal Government has warned the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company and other electricity distribution companies to desist from selling electricity meters to customers.
The Minister of Power, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu gave the warning on Thursday during the weekly State House ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team.
According to Aliyu, “touts” in the power sector were behind the sale of meters to customers as the meters were supposed to be given free of charge.
Recall that the Federal Government had in June last year warned the power companies against the sale of meters to customers in the country.
Aliyu said: “You will always have these kinds of things – like somebody trying to short-change others; otherwise these meters are free; we said it a number of times.
“These are tools that will generate liquidity. How can we be selling something that will bring in money?
“It is the responsibility of the DisCoS and the government is seeing that they are not doing so.
“So, the government is stepping in and giving the DisCoS the meters to distribute for free.
“But there’ll always be `touts’ and `kabu-kabu’ and I think it’s the touts that are doing this kind of shoddy deal.
The minister stressed that accelerated procurement of four million meters for the second phase of the Federal Government’s mass metering programme was ongoing with a critical focus on local manufacturers.
He added: “Currently, close to one million meters have been rolled out under the first phase and accelerated procurement is ongoing for the second phase of four million meters with a critical focus on local manufacturers.
“This is aimed at providing jobs through the programme.
“The first phase generated 10,000 jobs in installation and assembly. We anticipate that the second phase contract will be awarded by the end of the second quarter of this year.
“There will be a third phase that will provide an additional two million meters, funded through the World Bank.”