Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has said it has put in place measures to drastically reduce the Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses, as well as high accident rates recorded in the privatised power industry.
NEMSA said through the use of certified electrical contractors and installers by industry operators, incidences of huge revenue losses reported in the sector and accidents would be reduced.
It said it will no longer accept the prevalent practice of operators engaging unlicensed installers and contractors for power assets installation across their networks, adding that such practices have resulted in huge losses for the country.
NEMSA disclosed that for any installation work to be done and accepted in the sector now, contractors engaged by operators would have to be tested and certified fit for the job by it.
It noted that design and construction failures; use of substandard materials and equipment; deliberate overlook of extant procedures and codes for electricity projects; disregard for standards; and inadequate safety provisions have cost the sector huge financial and human resources.
NEMSA’s Managing Director, Peter Ewesor who spoke before the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola when select electrical installers were recently recertified in Abuja, stated that reported high energy and revenue losses by the industry were often from such bad practices.
Ewesor said this was expected to reduce with the engagement of the right people to install electricity facilities by operators.
He said NEMSA will through the certified installers, monitor; clampdown; and enforce sanctions on bad practices that lead to loss of generated power; revenue; and accidents.
He explained that going forward, certified installers who are contracted by operators in the sector for jobs, are mandated to leave a nameplate of their details and work accomplishments at the premises of their clients or sites where they worked.
According to him, NEMSA will trace and reach them in cases of inappropriate or substandard jobs through this. He added that there will be penalties associated with incidences of identified sharp practices and non-compliance with set codes.
Fashola, who spoke through the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Sheguri stated that the expected growth in capacity of Nigeria’s power sector had made it necessary that people who undertake key jobs of installations are certified and given guidelines to minimise economic losses to the sector.
He said this will promote and increase the technical capacity of installers to guarantee safety of workmen; lives; and property in the industry.
“The overall objective of the certification is to ensure that only skilled, experienced and competent professionals engage in the business of electrical installation work in the country.
“The role of NEMSA, therefore, becomes critical in the sector to stamp out sharp and unethical practices hitherto engaged in by uncertified electrical installation contractors,” said Fashola.
He added: “This will guarantee safety, security, reliability and quality of service at all points of the electricity supply value chain.”
The minister further said: “As we make efforts towards achieving incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply in the country, the functions and responsibilities of NEMSA become even more critical to the industry.
“It is important to state that when we eventually achieve regular and uninterrupted power supply, the state of our networks will play a crucial and significant role in ensuring the uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians. If networks collapse as a result of poor workmanship; construction and installation of our networks; then uninterrupted power supply will be seriously hindered.”