As Nigerians continue to yearn for improve power sector, a former Director General of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Reuben Okeke, has called for improve manpower development and adequate funding if the proposed 16,000 Megawatts (MW) expansion plan is to be achieved by the Year 2021.
Currently, the country’s wheeling capacity stands at about 5,300MW and characterised by unstable values in sustainability, quality, safety and affordability to the citizens despite the critical role stable power in sustaining the growth of any economy.
Okeke spoke at the 2017 fellow forum titled: “Financial Liquidity Support and Human Capital Development as Solution for Sustainable Power Industry,” organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) in Lagos.
He said increased collaboration would involve synergy between NAPTIN, the Industry, research institutes and universities to train the workforce on the use of tools and technologies to bridge the gap between the educational knowledge and required practical skills in the industry so that new entrants can add better value.
Specifically, he said there is the need for evolvement of enabling policy and monitoring framework to ensure that the enhancement and development of local content in Nigerian power sector is not compromised while the National Power Training Policy should be reviewed and adopted.
For constant power supply, he said necessary policy and regulations should be put in place by the Federal Ministry of Power, and the regulatory, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to ensure that every megawatt generated and wheeled is efficiently distributed, billed and accounted for.
He noted that this can be done through optimisation of existing infrastructure and demand side management, categorisation of the (33KV and 11KV) feeders into percentage of industrial, commercial and residential using customer population and energy billed.
“There is also the need for funding power infrastructures, to enforce a culture of preventive maintenance rather than corrective often time, identify critical projects among the NIPP projects across Generation, Transmission and Distribution that are nearing completion and ensure a quick completion of these projects to provide relief. We must establish the status of all existing meters based on different customer categorisation, replace all faulty or damaged or analogue meters with new digital prepaid meters and ensure all new service must be metered before connections,” he said.
In her address, the President of NAE, Mrs. Joanna Maduka, said no other issue is of greater concern in the public domain than the supply of electricity in the country, hence the demand for immediate solutions.
She said poor funding and management have plagued the Transmission Company of Nigeria, as the challenge has remained inconsistent and unreliable in relation to their budgets in the last 10 years.
Source: The Guardian