The Nigerian government and the UK are looking at possible ways to strike a partnership that will ensure the supply of electric meters to Africa’s largest economy.
Nigerian energy consumers have been trying for decades to get meters, but only 8.1 million of the country’s 12.8 million subscribers have received the gadget.
According to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), only about 4.66 million end-users, representing 36 percent of the entire pool had been fully metered at the end of November 2021.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) supported the federal government’s commencement of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) in September 2020, which, despite its slow progress, has helped the metering activities speed up.
The metering plan, like others, aims to boost Nigeria’s metering rate, do away with arbitrary estimated billing, and enhance the local meter value chain by expanding local meter manufacture, assembly, and deployment capabilities.
“In trading, there are different markets that can be explored, and we are exploring different ways to make Nigeria our top trade partner. It is important to note that, sometimes, it is about the quality one has to offer,
Ben Llewellyn-Jones, British Deputy High Commissioner (DHC) Nigeria said last week.
“The UK is known to have one of the most sophisticated meterings in the world, which would make a quality difference in Nigeria when it comes to the electricity sector as consumers would get the best value for their money spent.
“In terms of services, there are different British schools in the country as well as various partnerships with universities across the country. This goes to show that we are also about substance.
“We are committed to ensuring that we explore every opportunity available to strengthen the bilateral relationship between both countries,” he said.
Trade Partnership with the UK
Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK) are strong allies, constantly exploring strategic ways to deepen trade policy cooperation in the interest of both countries.
According to Ben, trade volume between the UK and Nigeria stood at £5.5 billion, while UK imports from Nigeria, amounted to £2.2 billion.
Recall that the UK government in August 2022 introduced the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) that would encourage and improve the exportation of goods from Nigeria.
Nigeria will benefit from enhanced preferences under the DCTS, given that 99 percent of current goods exports amounting to £1.6 billion per year would be eligible for duty-free, quota-free access to the UK.
“With the introduction of the DCTS, which would take off in April, 99 percent of Nigeria’s exports to the UK would be duty-free, as we see this as a real opportunity to improve trading between both countries.”
The UK market is a very large one. So, we have reached out to small and large businesses in different parts of the country. This is intended to help exporters and other people in the trading business to make the United Kingdom an export destination.
“Also, it is important to note that our government has been carrying out a lot of work in the country through initiatives such as British International Investment, which looks into the possibilities of investment and provides them.
“We work closely with the Nigerian authorities to overcome some challenges that come with investing in the country and we are also working on several ways to further strengthen the relationship between both countries,” he said.