The Chairman of MOMAS Meters Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL), Mr.Kola Balogun, has identified huge skill deficiency as threatening growth and development of the power sector.
Balogun, stated this in his brief remark at the graduation ceremony of 150 graduands from the North East who went through key meter installations training at the MEMMCOL Metering School, MMS.
The beneficiaries were sponsored by the North East Development Commission, NEDC.
He further warned that if the skill gap was not addressed urgently, Nigeria will not be able to sustain its future.
Balogun, restated the need for Nigeria to boost local capacity to produce electricity meters to meet the nation’s growing demand, saying that it was as a result of this that he established the MEMMCOL Metering School to bridge the huge deficit.
He added that plans have reached advanced stage to crash the country’s metering gap currently put at eight million meters with the training of 4,000 meter installers.
“This is why 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 cannot 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 on the need for resuscitation of values amongst youths, saying this is the only way to change the Nigerian narrative.
He also disclosed plans by the German Government to support his company with funds to establish a bigger school, saying the deficit does not belong to power sector alone, but was 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 losing value because the system is not taking care of its citizens. What is working now is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to bring out all those values that are dying gradually,” 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 meter Installation and electrical building Installation as part of its Youth Empowerment Programme.
The NEDC MD who was represented by the Deputy General Manager, Education, NEDC, Hajia Fatima Ciroma, said the training specifically aims to produce certified installers and technicians for electricity meter installation in order 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 become start-ups and 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.