By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria,(COREN),has commended MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company, (MEMMCOL)for its immense contribution to the downstream power sector especially in helping to bridge the metering gap as Momas Metering School .
The National President of COREN, Engr. Ali Rabiu made the remarks at the maiden graduation ceremony for the second set of 25 certified meter installers,describing the school as a unique innovation that would contribute immensely to capacity building for professionals in the metering space.
He expressed satisfaction with the quality of the training and the infrastructure put in place for the exercise.
He said “I realized that,aside from training the school has a lot to give out such as manufacturing prepaid meters,security equipment and gadgets.
“The quality of their output is comparable with anywhere in the world. We have a responsibility as a council to develop and encourage national content in engineering and we will explore that aspect of law to see how we can support this laudable initiative.
“In terms of personnel needed to ensure successful implementation of MAP, I can say that we have them but we need more. And I believe MOMAS will help bridge that gap,” he said.
He said, “I really want to salute the courage of the leadership and management of MEMMCOL for setting up this school because it is only the training and retraining of those who would manage and maintain any facility or infrastructure that underpins the hidden strength of the facility and guarantees that it delivers optimum value.
“Establishing a school like this goes to show that MEMMCOL is a master of its practice and it wants to institutionalize what it is doing for generations to come.
”According to Rabiu, with the introduction of the new Meter Assets Provider Regulations, Nigerians can access meters themselves and get training on how to install, audit and maintain them, or they can now have more individuals to deliver these services professionally.
However,The Group Chairman/CEO of MEMMCOL Engr. Kola Balogun, in his welcome address decried shortage of manpower needed to bridge the metering gap of over five million households.
Balogun said that adequate manpower deficiency is one of several factors responsible for the widening metering gap in Nigeria.
He said that the company has taken the responsibility to train young Nigerians in various aspects of the power sector value chain to address the gaps in metering installation in Nigeria.
He said that the 25 students who graduated today will boost installing capacity of the Meter Assets Providers MAPs schemes, adding that about 50 student s were also graduated recently.
According to him, “There are lots of manpower deficiencies in the power sector and we realized that we have the opportunity to pass on skills we have acquired over 30 years now.
“Our objective is to maximize the opportunity we have in the metering subsection of the power sector value chain by providing adequate and competent training to young graduates, undergraduates and school certificate holders that will be useful for the mass roll-out of meters under the government-backed Meter Asset Providers, MAP scheme.
“The training we are organizing provides direct and indirect jobs to hundreds of youth who are being taken out of the street and engaged in productive activities. We realized that there is huge deficit in metering gap and meter installation.
“ If the MAP scheme is well executed, we will need one million meter installers to install five million meters needed to fill the metering gap””
He admitted that cost of training may discourage some youths from taking up the opportunity and therefore called on the government to intervene by sponsoring the young ones to attend the training school.
“We are emphasizing government intervention because most youths that are unemployed are struggling to pay for the training while most cannot afford the cost but they are willing to learn.
“We are also using the opportunity of mass rollout scheme of MAP to engage the youths and take them off the street. Our training and the curriculum are endorsed by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN and Nigeria Society of Engineers, NSE.
“These bodies of engineers have come out with the scope of the curriculum and it was designed to accommodate everyone irrespective of your background, either science or not. We are able to pass the practical knowledge to them and they are able install meters,” he said.
On MAP, he said because of the issues of local content compliance, “we still have some setbacks on the implementation of MAP.
“Funding too is another challenge we are facing. Government’s intervention is also required here by ensuring that indigenous meter manufacturers are patronized. We want to explore MAP to put meters in every consumers’ premises.
“Having realized that the metering gap now stands at about five million, we need at least one million meter installers to bridge the gap.
“Remember, by the time every households is installed, some meter may be due for replacement, servicing and repairs.
These meter installers we are training we do all these tasks for them. They will also be trained to carry out network cleansing which is another gap we have identified.
This will reduce technical losses in the sector,” he said.
Mr. Oluwo Abraham, a representative of the grandaunts, commended MEMMCOL’s initiative towards training young Nigerians at all on human capacity development in all aspect of the power sector value-chain.
Abraham who also the best graduating student urged Federal Government to assist the young Nigerian towards human capacity development, adding the training given by MEMMCOL was in line with the government and international best practices.
“The curium followed by our lecturers was enricher that that of the federal technical institution because it comprised of the NSE and COREN standard.
“We appeal to government to assist the company (MOMAS) to broaden the scope of the programme so that many Nigerian can benefit.
We are helped in training to take up any power sector job and be a good ambassador in the power sector and also among the electric meter installers in Nigeria and beyond”,he stated.
MEMMCOL, an indigenous meter manufacturing company,located in Ogun state .