The North East Development Commission (NEDC) and MOMAS Group have partnered to empower 150 Nigerian youths in the North Eastern part in its bid to bridge the nation’s metering gap currently put about 8 million.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEDC, Mohammed Alkali, at the graduation ceremony of NEDC beneficiaries from MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL), said NEDC engaged the services of Momas Metering School (MMS) to train the youths on the theory, practical skills and regulations of energy meters installations and electrical building installations as part of its youth empowerment programme.
Represented by the Deputy General Manager, Education, NEDC, Fatima Ciroma, he said the training specifically aims to produce certified installers and technicians for electricity meter installations to meet the demand of Meter Asset Provider (MAP) and National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) as approved by the Federal Government
Besides, the World Bank estimates that Nigeria loses an average of $29 billion due to power shortage in the electricity sector representing six per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
As a result of this, each Disco lose an estimated N3 billion monthly to energy theft and with 11 Discos, an average of N33 billion is lost to theft on a monthly basis.
“Beyond the technical aspect of the training, the module also trained students on how to start a start-up and become entrepreneurs. The training, is beneficial to the North East and is in line with the Commission’s commitment to help reduce unemployment and increase skilled labour and workforce in the North East as well as the Commission’s mandate regarding human capacity development as a tool for eradicating poverty in the North East,” he added.
He pointed out that the Commission’s collaboration with the MOMAS training school covered tuition, accommodation, feeding, upkeep, personal protective equipment (PPE), customised tools bag with tools, course materials as well as extra-curricular activities whilst the training school provided the technical component.
Earlier, the Chairman MOMAS Group, Engr. Kola Balogun, stated the need for Nigeria to boost local capacity to produce metres to meet the nation’s growing demand, saying that it is as a result of this his company established the MEMMCOL metering school to bridge the huge deficit.
According him, the nation’s power sector is being threatened due to the skill deficiency in the meter sector, warning that if not addressed urgently, Nigeria will not be able to sustain its future
Speaking on behalf of the graduands, Flora Yuguda from Taraba State commended MOMAS and NEDC for the initiative, saying that it has upgraded her status, promising to do much more if given the financial assistance required to excel in her field.