MOMAS Electrical Meters Manufacturing Company Limited and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) have partnered to empower 150 youths in the North-Eastern part of the country in their bid to address the nation’s metering gap.
Kola Balogun, chairman of MOMAS Group, at the graduation ceremony for the beneficiaries, stressed the need for Nigeria to boost local capacity to produce meters to meet the nation’s growing demand, saying that was why his company established the MOMAS Metering School (MMS).
According to him, the nation’s power sector is being threatened by skills deficiency in the metering sector.
“This is why programmes such as this are 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,” he said. “We identified the opportunities in the power sector and decided to empower these youths with technical know-how to install meters in the country.”
Balogun said the German government is planning to support his company with funds to establish a bigger school.
According to him, the metering school will also be collaborating with Minnesota State University in the United States 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,” he said. “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 to bring out all those values that are dying bit by bit.”
Mohammed Alkali, chief executive officer and managing director of NEDC, said the NEDC engaged the services of MMS to train 150 youths from the northeast in the theory, practical skills and regulations of energy meters installations and electrical building installations as part of its youth empowerment programme.
Alkali, who was represented by Hajia Fatima Ciroma, deputy general manager of education at NEDC, said the training specifically aims to produce certified installers and technicians for electricity meter installations to meet the demand of Meter Asset Providers and National Mass Metering Programme as approved by the Federal Government.
He said: “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 northeast as well as the commission’s mandate regarding human capacity development as a tool for eradicating poverty in the northeast.”