*trains workers on meter testing, troubleshooting, others
By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has commenced two weeks training programme for 40 engineers and technical officers to enhance their capacity in carrying out meter testing and inspection of other electrical equipment.
The trainee were selected from Lagos, Kaduna and Port Harcourt and were trained on operations, maintenance of meter test equipment, troubleshooting and calibration of electricity energy meter instrument and equipment.
The Managing Director, NEMSA, Mr Peter Ewesor, said at the inauguration of the programme in Lagos that the specialised technical capacity building would focused on technical standards, installations and meter/instrument.
He said the programme is organised in conjunction with a Germany meter calibration and repair institute company, Zera Limited and the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria(NAPTIN).
Ewesor who is also the Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation said that “ we want to be on top of the game as an inspector on certifications of meter, it became important to train workers on what its expected of them.
“We are here to ensure that workers re better informed and knowledgeable enough to do some of that work we call expatriate to do for us.
“That is why we brought the original equipment manufacturer expatriate, Zera company to come and train our workers on the machine that we use in the laboratory .
“This will go a long way to impact on the power sector, when workers are adequately empowered to fix the equipment through training.
“This we make us to increase the quantum of meter to be tested at our stations on daily basis and the impact will on the industry will increase the efficiencies and volume that we can test on a daily basis.
“We are fully ready for the explosion that is waiting in the industry through the Meter Assets Providers schemes (MAP) that is being talking about on the huge number of meter expected through the scheme,’’ he said.
The NEMSA boss said that the 40 engineers trained will in turn, train others, adding that the agency has embarked on intensive education on the need for meter manufacturers and meter importer to adhere strictly to the procedure on regulation code.
He lauded the support of the Minister of Power, for ensuring stronger synergy among power sector institutions, to boost efficiency and productivity.
He advised Nigerians to ensure that all meters installed in their premises has NEMSA seal as authentication to show that that the meter had met standard.
He, however, said that the agency will not hesitate to sanction any manufacturer who failed follow the procedure of meter certification before deploying it electricity consumers and utility companies, adding that NEMSA will ensure “no bad meter’ ’comes into the country.
He warned electricity distribution companies (Discos) to verify the expiration of meters at specified laboratories and field test before decommissioning the appliance.
He said that Discos have been decommissioning and classifying them as redundant or expired without procedural verification.
According to the Ewesor, it was as a result of this the agency is building capacities of its personnel and equipment to increase the volume of meters it can test on a daily basis.
Ewesor said, “If we have all tools and equipment with which we are to deliver our mandate, if the human capital is not on top of the game, definitely we can’t deliver anything.
” So we want to arm them to be in touch with current technology.
“It is for them to know that they are working in an enforcement agency and their role is to ensure that the network, the equipment used, and the power systems put in place are in regular fitness to deliver power in a safe and reliable manner and to ensure safety of lives and property.
” It is also to make sure that any new project being built is inspected.”
According to Ewesor, NEMSA is in charge of the certification of all electrical installations that are used in the nation’s power sector.
He said, “How do you carry out an effective and efficient test if you don’t have the capacity, knowledge and technical know-how? So we have designed this specialised technical capacity training for them and we are bringing experts from developed economies in other parts of the world to share experiences with them and then put them through in certain areas where they have challenges.
“Since we started NEMSA, they have been carrying out their functions and there were some cases they had to refer to us at the headquarters to deliberate on. People talk about challenges with their meters.
“We are called to come and check the meters and when you are checking those meters, you don’t just check the meters in isolation. You check the meters vis-à-vis the electrical installations.”
Also speaking, the Director-General of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Mr Ahmed Nagode said the institute had trained over 600 staff of the utilities companies of the Transmission Compnay of Nigeria ( TCN) and Discos.
Nagode said the institute will also commence another training for 150 workers being sponsored by the Association of Power Utilities of Africa( APUA), adding that “this will go a long way in building efficiencies for the working force in the power sector.
He commended the management of NEMSA under the leadership of Ewesor for initiating such a programme to train workers on the 21st century methodology in electricity operations and maintenance procedures.
According to him, the training was carefully selected for NEMSA engineers to improve their knowledge and keep them abreast of modern technologies in the world.
“We commended the management of NEMSA for deeming it fit to train their staff and for attaching importance to capacity building of staff.
Nagode urged the trainees to make the best use of the opportunity by ensuring that they achieved the objectives of the training, and that it would make them better industry players and also guarantee their safety at work.
“We are working together with other sister agencies and NEMSA in ensuring that we build human capital for the sector that gets the right the right sets of skill for it’s to achieve its mandate for the industry.
“We are also working with NERC, REA, privatized utilities companies and other sister agencies, we have being training there staff, we just concluded the Sahara power group engineers.