Engr. Kola Balogun, the chairman of Momas Electrical Meters Manufacturing Company Ltd. (MEMMCOL) has warned that lack of skillful hands in the metering sector on the Nigerian power industry may threaten its development.
Group and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) have partnered to empower 150 youths in the North-Eastern part of the country to address the nation’s metering gap currently put at about eight million.
The Chairman, MOMAS Group, Kola Balogun, at the graduation ceremony of NEDC beneficiaries from MOMAS Metering school stated the need for Nigeria to boost local capacity to produce metres to meet the nation’s growing demand.
He said that it is as a result of this that his company established the MEMMCOL metering school to bridge the huge deficit.
According to him, the nation’s power sector is being threatened owing to the skills deficiency in the meter sector, warning that if not addressed urgently, Nigeria will not be able to sustain its future.
“This is why a programme such as this is inevitable for virtually all the agencies. We must set aside investment for skills acquisition. If we do not train our youths, our future is not sustained.
“We identified the opportunities in the power sector and decided to empower these youths with technical-know how to install meters in the country,” he said.
He, however, called for resuscitation of values amongst youths, saying this is the only way to change the Nigerian narrative.
He also stated that the German Government is planning to support his company with funds to establish a bigger school, saying the deficit does not belong to electricity alone, but all encompassing.
He said the metering school will also be collaborating with the Minnesota State University to extend all its programmes to innovations and designs.
“We are not just all about technicalities, but about values. We want to change the perception about Nigeria.
“We are skilled, but we are losing values because the system is not taking care of citizens. What is working now is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to bring out all those values that are dying bit by bit,” he added.
Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEDC, Mohammed Alkali, said the NEDC engaged the services of Momas Metering School (MMS) to train 150 youths from the North East 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, Hajia 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.
“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), customized tools bag with tools, course materials as well as extra-curricular activities whilst the training school provided the technical component.
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.
She urged NEDC and MOMAS for more support after the programme while also promising that she would impact her community with what she has learnt from the programme.