CBN Chides MAPs And Discos Of Diverting Funds Intended For Metering Nigerians

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CBN: Banks' Total Assets Increased By N8.25 Trillion In 2021
CBN: Banks' Total Assets Increased By N8.25 Trillion In 2021

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has frozen 157 accounts of Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) for allegedly diverting funds intended for prepaid meter procurement.

 

 

The apex bank requested commercial banks to restrict the accounts of 10 companies that received power sector intervention funds under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) for 180 days pending the outcome of its investigation in a suit filed on July 20 at the Federal High Court in Lokoja, Kogi State.

 

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, in collaboration with the Presidential Power Task Force, launched the National Mass Metering Program (NMNP).

The initiative, which was launched in August 2020, was designed to allow the CBN to fund meter acquisition on behalf of DisCos by paying directly to MAPs.

 

The NMMP is aimed at mass metering Nigerians by providing loan facilities to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) for the procurement of meters for their customers, as well as to local meter manufacturers for the manufacturing and assembly of meters.

 

The CBN stated in the suit, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reviewed the activities of twelve (12) Meter Asset Providers (MAPs), including the defendants herein, alleged to have diverted the Central Bank of Nigeria’s power sector intervention funds under the National Mass Metering Programme” (NMMP).

 

“The review was conducted to determine the flow of funds made available to MAPs between January 1, 2020, and March 15, 2022.” The preliminary investigation revealed that the defendants diverted a significant portion of the funds for other purposes via related entities and individuals/companies linked to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) and the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

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The CBN stated in the suit, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reviewed the activities of twelve (12) Meter Asset Providers (MAPs), including the defendants herein, alleged to have diverted the Central Bank of Nigeria’s power sector intervention funds under the National Mass Metering Programme” (NMMP).

 

 

“The review was conducted to determine the flow of funds made available to MAPs between January 1, 2020, and March 15, 2022.” The preliminary investigation revealed that the defendants diverted a significant portion of the funds for other purposes via related entities and individuals/companies linked to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) and the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

 

According to NERC, the initiative was created in response to President Buhari’s order that Nigerians be metered. “The President has directed that a nationwide mass-metering program be implemented in an effort by the Federal Government to end estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity.”

 

In October 2020, the Central Bank issued its framework for financing NMMP.

 

Investment by the Central Bank in the Power Sector
Nigeria’s central bank has made significant investments in the power sector through intervention support programs. According to the bank, the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilization Facility – Phase 2 has disbursed over N254.4 billion (NEMSF-2).

 

 

Governor Godwin Emefiele revealed at the Central Bank’s last Monetary Policy Committee meeting that it disbursed N47.8 billion for about