By Donald Ugwu
The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) says it will soon increase the number of meter testing centres in the country from four to six.
NEMSA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ewesor, an Engineer, said this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said the project was to support the industrial revolution efforts of the present administration.
According to him, it is also in line with the administration’s quest to supply meters to every electricity consumer through the mass metering programme under the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.
He said: “NEMSA has functional meter testing centers in Oshodi, Lagos, Port Harcourt town and Kaduna.
“We have just completed and officially inaugurated the one in the Enugu East. We now have two ongoing in Kano and Benin.”
Ewesor, who is the Chief Electrical Engineering Inspector of the Federation, said that only meters, which type tests were completed by NEMSA, were authorised to be used in the country.
He further said the agency also carried out routine tests on some of the already installed meters to ascertain their effectiveness and resistance to power challenges.
Ewesor also said that the agency was supporting local production of electricity meters, adding: “Whether they are local or imported, the type test is mandatory in the country.
“When the type test is done then the meter can be deployed.
“We do not do offshore testing but when anyone wants to import meters, we want to test that meter here to be sure it would work in our environment.’’
The NEMSA boss said it was through routine test that the agency discovered that some fraudulent contractors tried to by-pass the neutral lines for the `earth’ in order to cheat.
He said that in some places, contractors forged certifications for projects and got their installations connected to the national grid.
He said it was an offence for persons not certified by the agency to carry out electrical installations of any kind in the country.
“In this country today, by law, NEMSA is the sole agency and authority to certify competent electrical installation contractors and workmen.
“If you do not have NEMFA’s certificate you are not authorised under the law to execute any electrical installation and if you do, it is illegal.
“You are practicing quackery and it actually attracts sanctions,’’ Ewesor said.
He further said that the NEMSA Act of 2015 mandates the agency to enforce standards and regulations, technical inspection, testing and certification of all categories of electrical installations, electricity meters and instruments.
He said this was to ensure the efficient production of electricity power supply, sustainable and reliable electricity delivery to Nigerians.
He said the essence of the enforcement is to also assure the safety of lives and property.
NEMSA, he said, would continue to execute the mandate for safety “because electricity, as we know it, is a very good servant but very bad master.’’
He frowned against the trend where some people erect residential buildings under the high tension lines in different parts of the country .
He described the practice as a direct invitation to fire and other disasters leading to fatalities.
He warned those involved to desist from it or be prepared to face the wrath of the agency.
“As of today, we have disconnected well over 2,000 houses under the high tension lines to serve as deterrent to others planning to do similar thing,” Ewesor said.
He further warned that anyone, who chose to reside in such houses, using other power alternatives would be arrested and handed over to security personnel for prosecution. (NAN)