Vice President Kashim Shettima has inaugurated an electric energy meter manufacturing factory in Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
According to The PUNCH, speaking during the inauguration at the factory’s premises in Oraifite, Anambra State, on Thursday, Shettima said the energy factory, called Advanced Energy Management Solutions, would help the Federal Government in it’s efforts at addressing the power challenges in the country.
The vice president, who acknowledged the electric metre shortage in the country, said the factory would help reduce the metre shortage gap.
He said, “We commend this initiative as we commission the factory to the glory of God and the use of humanity. This will help reduce the shortage gap of prepaid meters in the country.
“We believe that the establishment of the factory will help resolve the power supply challenges facing the country by addressing the critical issue of very high metering gap among consumers.
“It is also a direct response to the call by the Federal Government for local and foreign investors to invest in Nigeria, create jobs and stimulate economic activities all around the country.”
In his address, the Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Energy Management Solutions, Okechukwu Onyejiuwa, said the factory has the capacity to produce 1.4 million metres annually with a view to tackling the power shortage in the country.
He also noted that the factory was established to support the government’s efforts to resolve the power supply challenges facing the country by addressing the critical issue of the very high metering gap.
He said, “This factory has the capacity to produce 1.4 million meters annually. The establishment is to support government’s efforts to resolve the power supply challenges facing the country by addressing the critical issue of very high metering gap amongst consumers.
“This facility possesses the capability to produce Single Phase and Three Phase as well as Maximum Demand Meters. The manufacturing facility is equipped with advanced, cutting-edge equipment and machinery to manufacture a wide range of MD and non-MD smart energy meters, as well as feeder meters of accuracy class ranging from 0.2S to 1S in compliance with national and international standards.
“The factory is set to create about 500 direct jobs comprising majorly of engineers, technicians as well as finance and administration professionals. In addition to the direct jobs, we estimate that there will also be over 4,000 jobs created by the activities of this company.
“The operations of this factory will stimulate economic activities in the country especially given the high-tech nature of the skills required for the manufacturing process. It will also conserve scarce foreign exchange through reduction in the cost of imported raw materials, developing local raw materials sources and the potential for export to other countries within Africa and other parts of the world in the near future.”
He explained that it is more beneficial to patronise local meter manufacturers with proven capacities rather than contracting supply of energy meter to foreign companies and granting them import duty waivers.
“Sourcing of foreign exchange to import machines, equipment and raw materials have been a herculean task in recent years. When manufacturers are left with no alternative than to source foreign exchange from the alternative market, the consequences are that the price of the finished product is impacted very negatively, and the capacity is constrained.
“The impact of steady power supply in a manufacturing outfit such as this cannot be over-emphasized. The high cost of diesel and the attendant inefficiency in generating our own power supply is certainly not sustainable, both for the company and for the nation.
“It is therefore pertinent that the government encourages investors and even makes further investments in the energy sector which holds the key to unlock huge potentials in other sectors of the economy.
“On a short trip to deliver our meters from this factory to Enugu for instance, one will encounter over 15 checkpoints and roadblocks comprising police, army, produce inspection, emblem checkers and so many government and quasi government organs who stop vehicles carrying goods indiscriminately to extort and collect taxes and levies prescribed by them and often not backed by law.
“There is certainly an urgent need to improve ease of doing business, harmonise revenue/tax collection and create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive. Ultimately, the nation benefits from increased revenue from better performing production driven enterprises.”
Other projects commissioned by the vice president included the official commissioning of Ijele 93.1FM and housing units donated for widows, among others.