Nigeria: Review Of The Salient Provisions Of The Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018

Last Updated: 20 November 2018
Article by Banwo & Ighodalo

A major outcry, in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry ("NESI"), relates to the attendant collection losses and the concerns around estimated billing which has impacted in no small measure, the financial standing of most, if not all of the Distribution Company ("DisCo") in Nigeria.

Thus, in December 2017, in its bid to end the seemingly perennial challenges with estimated billing in Nigeria, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ("NERC or "the Commission") released the Draft Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2017 ("Draft Regulations"). Thereafter, following extensive consideration of comments from and reactions to the Draft Regulations, as received from relevant stakeholders, the Board of NERC eventually approved the updated Draft Regulations.

Consequently, on March 8, 2018, the Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018 ("MAP Regulations") was finally issued under the common seal of NERC and became effective as the governing framework for the metering of electricity consumption in the NESI.

In a nutshell, the MAP Regulations establish standard rules which:

  1. Encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services in the NESI;
  2. Eliminate estimated billing practices in the NESI;
  3. Attract private investment to the provision of metering services in the NESI;
  4. Close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll out in the NESI; and
  5. Enhance revenue assurance in the NESI.


The MAP Regulations require a licensed DisCo to attain metering targets, as stipulated by the Commission, from time to time. To this end, each DisCo is expected to procure the services of a NERC–licensed Meter Asset Providers ("MAP"), defined in the Regulations as "a person that is granted permits by the Commission to provide metering services which may include meter financing, procurement, supply, installation, maintenance and replacement".

Further, each DisCo must make regular periodic disbursements to the relevant MAP for the metering services delivered, pursuant to a Metering Service Agreement (MSA) executed between the DisCo and the relevant MAP. In order to ensure proper energy accounting, Eligible Customers, "properly so-designated" under the Eligible Customer Regulations, are also permitted to engage the services of MAPs.

For clarity, it is important to note that, although the MAP Regulations are applicable to all DisCos, MAPs, electricity customers and all types of end-user customer meters in the NESI, same shall not override metering contracts which were executed by DisCos prior to March 8, 2018. However, in the event of a conflict between the MAP Regulations and any other regulations or codes in the NESI, with respect to any matter relating to and or connected with metering, the MAP Regulations take precedence.

Specific provisions in the newly issued MAP Regulations include:

Licensing Requirements and Process for Qualification as a MAP

Subject to compliance with stipulated criteria covering "Application, Technical, and Technology Requirements", MAP Permits are issued to successful applicants.

Accordingly, any applicant for the grant of a MAP Permit is required to submit with the completed application form, a set of documents namely:

(i)              certificate of incorporation and memorandum and articles of association (MEMART);

(ii)             tax clearance certificate;

(iii)            certified audited financial statements for three (3) consecutive years prior to the year of application;

(iv)            detailed resumes of the members of the applicant's board of directors, management and technical staff;

(v)             10-year business plan; and

(vi)            relevant experience of the applicant in asset finance, metering and other relating business.

Additionally, the MAP Regulations require DisCos and MAPs to comply with all relevant regulations issued by NERC, including the Metering Code and Guidelines for Certification of Metering Service Provider and Related Matters; as well as deploy a minimum back-office systems technology, by which the MAPs can maintain and retrieve financial, inventory, customer data and monitoring usage of deployed infrastructure records (at the minimum), on an on-line real time basis. This back-office systems technology must be able to interface with the DisCos' vending platforms.

In order to be granted a MAP Permit, DisCos are required to procure MAPs in accordance with the procedures stipulated in the MAP Regulations. These procedures include:

  • Request by a DisCo for Expressions of Interest ("EoIs") in at least two (2) Nigerian newspapers and the relevant DisCo's website
  • Request by a DisCo for competitive proposals for the provisions of meters and metering services from eligible interested bidders;
  • Preparation of bid documents by a DisCo with specifications for meters and metering services in accordance with the Metering Code and all other relevant Regulations issued by NERC;
  • Issuance of a bid document by a DisCo to each eligible bidder;
  • Issuance to the successful bidder of an Offer Letter to enter into MSA for the provision of meters and metering services, upon the completion of bids evaluation by a DisCo; and
  • Execution of an MSA between a DisCo and the successful bidder, subject to the grant of a Permit by NERC and the submission of a performance bond by the bidder. 

Essentially, for a MAP to be considered eligible for participating in the bidding process, it must first apply to NERC for a "No Objection" for the provision of meters and metering services to DisCos. A duly completed application form for "No Objection", is also required to be submitted with the same set of documents required for application for grant of MAP Permit (enumerated above), with additional documents which include:

  • VAT registration certificate;
  • Copies of the academic and professional qualifications of staff;
  • Proof of warehousing facilities for metering systems;
  • Proof of ability to secure funds for the procurement of metering systems; and
  • Proof of the applicant's previous relevant experience.     

The procurement process for the engagement of the first set of MAPs is required to be concluded within 120 days from the day the MAP Regulations came into force (April 3, 2018) while the process, for subsequent MAPs, is to be completed within 120 days from the commencement of the procurement.

Fundamentally, in order to qualify as a MAP, an applicant must have successfully completed the relevant DisCo procurement process and submitted an application to NERC for a permit to become a MAP. Notably, a MAP Permit issued to an applicant is specifically related to a successful procurement process with a DisCo only. Thus, a holder of a MAP Permit may acquire several other permits under distinct procurement processes conducted by different DisCos.

The tenure of a MAP Permit issued by the Commission shall be for a period of 15 years in the first instance, effective from the date of issuance.

The MAP Regulations stipulate that MAPs must mandatorily procure a minimum of 30% of their contracted metering volumes from local meter manufacturing companies in Nigeria. The local content threshold, from time to time, shall be as specified in the NERC Local Content Regulations.

Agreements between Parties

Under the MAP Regulations there are two (2) main agreements that must be executed by the relevant players along the value chain.

(a)             Metering Service Agreement (MSA): This is an agreement entered into between a DisCo and a MAP for the provision of the relevant metering services; and

(b)             Service Level Agreement: This is a contract between the MAP and DisCo, which defines the level of service that the DisCo expects the MAP to provide to its customers.    

In the main, the rights and obligations of parties cut across vital issues, which include:

  • access to customer meters installed by MAPs;
  • use of data derived from customer meters for monitoring;
  • billing and planning;
  • development of meter-deployment plans;
  • payment of metering service charge by electricity customers;
  • legal ownership of the meter asset until fully amortized through payment of a metering service charge by beneficiary customers;
  • meter asset specifications and installation standard;
  • periodic inspection of meters to ensure integrity and reading accuracy;
  • repair and replacement of faulty meters;
  • key performance indicators (KPIs) for MAPs as agreed between parties;
  • safety of installed meters within the customer's premises;
  • willful damage to meters; and
  • transfer of services within a franchise area.

Prohibition of Related Party Transactions

To ensure good corporate governance and the integrity of processes, the MAP Regulations prohibit a DisCo, its core investors, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors and their relatives from setting up, owning shares or holding directorships and senior management positions in the MAPs.     

Insurance and Disaster Recovery Plans

Under the MAP Regulations, it is the obligation of the MAP to insure the meter assets and secure all metering equipment deployed in accordance with the Metering Service Agreement (MSA) while the DisCo and the MAP are jointly obliged to ensure frequent back-up of relevant data, to ensure integrity of the metering system.           

Capping of Unmetered Customers Bills    

To address the issue of estimated billing in the NESI, the MAP Regulations provide that within 120 days of its commencement, NERC shall issue an Order on the Capping of the Bills of Unmetered Customers.

Customer Financing of Meters

Another significant initiative in the MAP Regulations is the provision for self-financing of meter acquisition by electricity customers, who elect to pay for a meter asset upfront. In this case:

(i)              a DisCo shall provide the customer with authorization specifying the amount to be paid for the installation of a meter, after inspection of the customer's premises and certifying the readiness of the premises for a safe and secure installation of the meter asset;  

(ii)             the customer shall pay to the MAP the full price of the meter as specified in the DisCo's authorization; and 

(iii)            the MAP shall supply and install the meter at the premises of the customer within ten (10) working days of the Customer's full payment. 

Under the customer financing arrangement, a customer shall not be liable for the payment of metering service charge through the DisCo, and the amount payable to the MAP by the customer shall be the efficient costs of the meter and its installation, as determined by the procurement process for MAPs conducted by the DisCo.            

Dispute Resolution

All agreements entered into by parties further to these Regulations shall contain appropriate dispute resolution clauses for settlement of disputes by arbitration.


The development and issuance of the MAP Regulations indicate the commitment of NERC to using its rule-making powers under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (2005), to address critical challenges affecting the Nigerian power sector. 

Essentially, the MAP Regulations make transitional arrangements to the effect that, pursuant to the tariff reset in the year 2018, only meters installed by DisCos by December 31, 2018 shall form part of their Regulatory Asset Base.

Furthermore, any further deployment of meters beyond December 31, 2018 under a subsisting contract entered by DisCos is to be structured under the MAP regulatory framework. Again, customers who are provided with meters under this arrangement are to pay a monthly metering service charge and appropriate energy tariff reflective of the financing structure while DisCos are expected to present to the Commission for approval, additional customer classes disaggregating customer tariffs, based on the mode of financing of the meter asset that are installed on their premises.

Whilst figures released by NERC indicate a metering gap of 4,740,275 meters for all DisCos as at December 31, 2017 (with the gap projected to widen significantly by the time the ongoing customer enumeration in the NESI is concluded), it is expected that the operation of the MAP Regulations will bridge the metering gap and eliminate the billing crisis currently ravaging the NESI.

10 May 2018

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions