There are herdsmen, and there are herdsmen. Some are contented with foraging on the peripheral while some take the extra pain to search further deep down in the forest, not minding the attendant dangers and risk of the journey, and eventually land greener pastures that comes with results of well fattened herd, quality market value and the attendant goodwill of expertise in their chosen endeavour.
Here is a man, without the glorious mention of his name, the history of digital electronic prepaid meter in post deregulation and privatisation of the power sector in Nigeria, cannot be fully told.
Nigeria’s government stranglehold on electricity generation and supply, that has held down the sector for years, was broken with the unbundling of the almighty Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the first offshoot of NEPA, into various units including, Power Generation, Transmission and Distributions.
However, only a few players on the peripheral saw the opportunity of becoming custodians of the evolving lucrative business opportunities in the power sector and fill a yawning gap created by poor metering; a cancerous hole in the pockets of consumers that has fed fat the electricity behemoth in the past.
This is where Engr. Kola Gbolasere Balogun, KGB, has made the difference. The Electronics/Electrical Engineer from Offa, Kwara state, who turned 60 last May 2, is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of MOMAS’s group, comprising of Momas Nigeria Systems Ltd, Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Ltd, Momas Power Generation Ltd and Equipment and Protective Applications International Ltd with which he has made remarkable achievements in the two most critical sectors of the Nigerian economy; Power and Defence.
Before he pioneered pre-paid meter manufacturing in Nigeria, electricity meters supply was imported mostly from South Africa. But the patriotism in him, passion and commitment to the development of the metering sector and consideration for volume of metering needs in the country, prompted him to scale up and face squarely the paucity in terms of technology deficits and that’s what led to pioneering the manufacturing of pre-paid meters in Nigeria of today.
For Momas, the mission, from the onset, was to close the metering gap, take advantage of the prevailing deficit and deploy technology to address identified peculiar challenges in the Nigerian power sector.
Such peculiarities are: demand for electricity and its utilisation as well as distribution of power to final consumers. To achieve this, KGB’s Momas has successfully domesticated the technology there by assisting operators to surmount the problems.
Within a short period of time, Momas has:
Pioneered the development of vending/billing management applications and support services for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (erstwhile National Electric Power Authority) and now the Power Distribution companies in Nigeria.
Invention and designing of the prepaid energy meter in Nigeria.
Invention and designing of the Dual tariff energy meter in Nigeria to address the energy supply peculiarity in the Country.
Pioneered the Designing and production of electricity Meter boxes of all kinds.
Establishment of the first metering school in Africa as a platform for training of youths on metering technology.
Invention of the Distribution Power Enhancement Panel (DPEP) for both 11kva and 33kva power sub-stations to address commercial and technical energy losses.
Because it’s a dynamic system built locally by Momas, it is easier to support and amend at any point in time to suit and deploy update on policies and adapt to changes and innovations.
His modest contributions helped to raise the numbers of prepaid meters to a little over 171,000 a far cry from millions needed to meter equal numbers of consumers and save hapless Nigerians from the exploitative estimated bills perfected by the National Electricity Power authority, the grandfather of the present crop of DISCOs.
In his words, local manufacturing of electricity meters through its allied industries can create another industry on its own, spin hundreds of thousands of jobs because “raw material production is another industry on its own which if we have a developmental plans to develop our raw material industry; it will create an industrial growth on its own. Because it’s now becoming iTech because most of the raw material component that we use are all solid state devices, just like Silicon Valley and so on and so forth.
He urged the government to look into this work in progress which will no doubt correct the deficit in the employment industry and tackle insecurity as well because if local capability and capacity are developed, it will reduce unemployment deficit and eventually improve the country’s GDP at the end of the day.
His recognition of the prevalent manpower deficit in in the metering sector of the power industry led him to establish MOMAS Metering School as part of his company’s corporate social responsibility principally targeting the youths to develop their skills in meter installation, auditing and other technical areas of metering electricity and over a period of time, the industry will be better for it in terms of improvement on services provide,
In furtherance of his company’s CSR, aside his personal efforts that has touched the lives of many youths in his home state through scholarships to tertiary institution student, MOMAS has built a storey building consisting of four classrooms in Community Primary School, Orimerunmu in Obafemi Owode local government area of Ogun state.
During the last COVID-19 pandemic, the company organised palliatives for communities and people with special needs in Surulere as well as residents of Orimerunmu community.
He is a member and fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
For this iconic Nigerian pioneer, pathfinder and humanitarian, the field is wide open for greater services and benefits to mankind as he celebrates a happy and prosperous 60th birthday anniversary.