THE Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, has engaged the services of 2,265 workers in order to reposition and strengthen the operational needs of the company. The recruitment exercise was a result of the expiration of the six-month employment contracts offered to the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, during the handing over to the private sector.
In pursuit of this objective, the company engaged human resources consultants to carry out a comprehensive and professional skills assessment of the company by interviewing all staff. In general terms, staff retained have proven records with regards to their credentials, skills or qualifications for their assigned job and also on performance
Patience Toyo, head of public relations, AEDC, in a statement said the exercise necessitated the consideration of 2,265 staff which would be issued with letters of appointment. She said the management of the Disco is optimistic that the staff it has offered employment would help secure the viability and success of the organization in meeting the goals of its establishment.
There are prospects to recruit more staff in certain key areas where specialist skills are required and more so, there are provisions for training of staff to ensure continued alignment between staff skills and organizational goals. Commenting on the development, Neil Croucher, managing director, AEDC, said the company was happy to offer employment to most of the former PHCN staff in the new organization. “We appreciate the cooperation we have enjoyed from all the workers during these six months of transition and we are happy to be embarking on this journey going forward,” he said.
Still A Nation in Darkness
THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has clarified why industries and homes in the country are still having acute power shortage more than six months after government handed over to new investors in the power sector.Sam Amadi, chairman NERC, while addressing the business community under the aegis of the Nigerian-Danish Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, said that things were not going as envisaged but that radical steps were being taken to address the situation.
“November 1st last year to April 30th is just about six months and it is a very little time for an industry that is so finance–sapping and structurally-chained to have achieved much,” he said, adding that the slow turn-around on vandalisation of power infrastructure across the country, specifically those targeted at disrupting gas flow to various power stations, should be blamed.
Amadi said that poor choice of location of some of the National Integrated Power Projects, NIPPs, and the fact that the new investors were not able to do the required six months’ shadow trading prior to taking over from the government contributed to the problems. He added that the investors were not well acquainted with baseline losses, baseline demand and baseline gas supplies in their various jurisdictions due to labour stand-offs with government. “One thing that is sure is that Nigeria needs electricity to power its industrialisation and when we get it right, economies of scale tell us that all the smaller countries around us are going to source electricity from us because they cannot produce.”
Ben Koya Adako, president, Nigerian-Danish Chamber of Commerce, noted that the theme of the meeting, ‘Power Sector Reform: Overcoming Institutional and Regulatory Challenges in an Era of Liberalisation,’ was apt, more so now that electricity was undergoing a major reform in the country. “There is still much to be done to really stabilise the business and economic environment as a condition for the private sector to thrive and, indeed, realise installed capacity and boost production.
“While we duly support the on-going power reform, we are not oblivious of the fact that electricity generation is still far from the huge expectations that heralded the reform. From the challenges of the Discos, finance, gas, infrastructure, power distribution to metering, the dynamics of the reform are pretty complex. Yet, we believe that the reform is the way to go as we crave for expeditious turn-around. At the end of the day, the overall interest is the availability of power to run the various industries and factories,” he said.
Standard Chartered In Power Sector Financing
THE Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria has explained the reason behind its involvement in the financing of the power sector reform in Nigeria. It said the success recorded in the privatisation of the power sector as well as its drive to contribute significantly to the reforms in the sector are major reasons for its financing of the Azura Independent Power Project in Edo state. Bola Adesola, managing director of the bank, described the Azura IPP as one of the most innovative projects being undertaken by private investors in Nigeria.
She said since poor power supply was a major impediment to the growth of the non-oil sector, there was the need to address the challenge through innovative financing models for investors. She expressed optimism that the Azura power plant would serve as a template for other investors to learn from and invest in the country’s power sector.
“Today marks the official milestone signing ceremony of one of Nigeria’s first privately funded power plants in 15 years, the Azura-Edo Power Plant. The signing coincides with the World Economic Forum for Africa event and reiterates the Nigerian government’s commitment to addressing the country’s power supply gap through positive reform in the power sector. The power generation from this transaction is expected to tangibly impact on Nigeria’s economic growth and the banks are proud to be part of this, and Standard Chartered in particular is proud to be playing an important role in progressing and structuring the transaction by acting as the structuring bank and the Global Mandated Lead Arranger,” she said.
The plant is the first foreign private investor-led power project in the country, which is projected to add 450 megawatts to the national grid in the first phase, and peak at 1,500 MW on completion.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— May 19, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT