Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the problem of irregular power supply in Nigeria is caused by inaccurate billing system resulting from insufficient metering machines.
Osinbajo made the remarks on Saturday in Onna local government area of Akwa Ibom while inaugurating an Electric Metering Factory as part of activities marking the 30th anniversary of Akwa Ibom creation.
The vice president said that Nigeria’s economic development hinged on effective power supply, lamenting that Distribution Companies (DISCOs) had not been able to collect tariffs because of non-availability of meters.
“The electric metering factory is an important project. Inadequate power is the major obstacle to full economic development in Nigeria.
“We have also identified the facts that DISCO is unable to collect tariffs effectively from consumers because we are unable to afford the cost of metering.
“I think that there is an important policy innovation as there is no restriction on those who can actually produce meter for our consumers,” Osinbajo said.
He commended the Akwa Ibom governor for establishing the metering factory, saying that the Federal Government was looking forward to other several factories across the country.
“The country is open up for this kind of enterprise and we are looking forward to a lot more activities.
“But we are looking at 2.7 million units of meters annually here and this is absolutely fantastic.
“I know that job opportunities here will be substantial for a start,” Osinbajo said.
In his speech, the Akwa Ibom governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said that his administration was partnering with private sectors to put the state on the path of industrialization.
Emmanuel said that the factory would manufacture an average of one million meters per year and thanked the investors for their confidence in the state.
“The essence of this industry is to ensure power for all. Once you can buy recharge cards, you can have electricity, it is available for all.
“The capacity can be doubled from 2.7 to 5.4 to enable us pay for the power that we generate.
“The project is a private initiative for the betterment of all Akwa Ibom people and for Nigeria at large,” Emmanuel said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Vice President Osinbajo had also inaugurated a syringe manufacturing company constructed by a Turkish firm in partnership with the state government.
The company is expected to produce 2ml, 5ml and 10ml disposable syringes respectively at an annual production capacity of 350 million units.
The Etinan General Hospital refurbished by Gov. Emmanuel was also inaugurated by the vice president, who was the special guest of honour at the 30th anniversary of Akwa Ibom creation.
The hospital had witnessed a facelift with modern facilities and wards fitted with new electrical beds, well equipped theatres to manage all kinds of surgeries and fully stocked pharmacies.