THE federal government has begun the process of reviewing the market rules that will guide the privatised electricity sector operations, ahead of the declaration of the Transition Electricity Market, TEM, by March next year. Sam Amadi, chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, disclosed at a workshop organised for the review of the market rule in Abuja, that the interim rule for the current interim market operations “is still being reviewed in collaboration with the new investors.”
Amadi noted that while the market rule is being reviewed for possible amendment following a change in the power sector operations, the interim rule has been drafted and would soon be ready to guide the new investors during the ongoing interim and market testing period.
In his remark, Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, who was represented by Chidiebere Onyia, his senior special assistant, said, “There are certain things that we are trying to ensure that they are put in place before the declaration of TEM.” According to him, this is one of those things that should be in place before the commission, NERC, can advise the minister to declare TEM. “Right now, we are looking at the 1st of March, 2014.” He said the review of the interim rule would guide the new owners in the current interim operation, adding, “I am happy that the interim rule is being reviewed, but more importantly with the contributions of stakeholders and all of you here.”
Creating Job for Ex-Niger Delta Militants
THE Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, and the presidential amnesty programme, are to collaborate towards integrating ex-agitators from the Niger Delta into the oil and gas industry. Ernest Nwapa, executive secretary, NCDMB, said this when he hosted Kingsley Kuku, special adviser to the President on Niger Delta and chairman of the presidential amnesty programme.
Nwapa said the plan was to upload the list of ex-agitators who had completed training in oil and gas service areas into the Nigerian Oil and Gas Joint Qualification System, NOGIC JQS, the data base of choice for talent sourcing in the oil and gas industry. He explained that Diezani Alison Madueke, minister of petroleum resources and chairman of the board’s governing council, had directed the board to pursue capacity development and employment initiatives that would support President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda in the oil and gas industry.
According to him, major operating companies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, cannot employ more than 50,000 Nigerians as they had outsourced most of their operations. He added, however, that the industry could create thousands of jobs through the execution of its projects in-country and manufacturing of components used by the industry.
He regretted that Nigerians had, for nearly five decades, focused on the exploitation of crude oil and revenue receipts, while ignoring the value chain. By so doing, they have failed for too long to establish facilities, own hi-tech assets and manufacture components for the industry which in turn can create jobs and reduce capital flight.
Nwapa clarified that the implementation of the Act had gradually reversed the trend, and Nigerians have begun to invest heavily in facilities, own hi-tech assets and manufacture components for the industry. He noted that some of the capacities already developed for the industry, are being utilised in other sectors of the economy like power, telecommunication, construction and information technology.
Meeting Power Sector Manpower Needs
THE federal government has assured Nigerians of the availability of sufficient indigenous manpower for the 10 new National Integrated Power Plants, NIPPs, being commissioned across the country. Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, gave the assurance in Abuja, at the first graduation ceremony of trained power engineers from the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, NAPTIN.
He explained that the assurance stems from the success of government’s capacity development programme for the power sector. He said the graduation of the first set of 243 engineers by the Institute was a big milestone on the road to achieving efficient and reliable local content in the unfolding revolution in the new power sector.
The minister said there was no fear of redundancy for the high caliber of engineers being produced under NAPTIN’s Graduate Skills Development Programme. He said there was great need for them in the now privatised generation and distribution companies, the NIPPs, as well as the Transmission Company of Nigeria, where some of the young engineers had already been engaged.
Nebo said the products of the Institute were the critical mass of skilled manpower needed to take Nigeria to its envisaged place among the 20-20 most developed nations by the Year 2020.
In his address, Reuben Okeke, director general, NAPTIN, affirmed that the graduate programme was designed to act as a systematic interventionist approach to the grand plan of meeting the nation’s manpower needs in the energy sector. He commended the minister of power for intervening to secure appropriate job placements for some of the graduates.
He explained that following the launch of the programme in September 2012, over 1,530 applications were received nationwide with a total about 243 graduate trainees eventually admitted and enrolled.
The DG explained that while some were under their state governments’ sponsorship, a good number also came on private or self sponsorship. The 243 NAPTIN trainees graduated at the event span across the power chain with 92 from generation, 79 from transmission and 72 from distribution.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Nov. 25, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT