The ongoing privatisation of the power sector has started opening up a vista of opportunities for various cadre of workers, as job advertisements being placed online are more related to the power sector than any other sectors of the economy.
Some of the job adverts, which were placed by some consultancy companies, range from technicians to engineers in different categories. Those that are successful would be the new hands that the new investors in the various power plants and distribution companies would engage to carry out the services required by the companies.
According to some industry analysts, the new investors in the power sector would like the recruiting consulting firms, such as Philips Consulting, to select young Nigerians who can adapt to changes in the system and apply themselves to modern technology and applications, and offer them the jobs currently being performed by the present old and tiring workers that have not been trained in the last 18 years.
The industry is currently characterised by ageing workforce, most especially in the area of engineering.
Sam Amadi, chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, said the power sector reform was potentially a huge creator of jobs, saying “if Nigeria is growing at 7 percent without power. With steady power, the growth will double; more business will start and employ people. Unbundling means that with private sector investment there will be more businesses in upstream and downstream. This will result in more job creation.”
Goddy Duru, managing director, PowTechnology Nigeria Limited, said it was not surprising that such advert placements were coming up now because the investors want to position them
selves to provide efficient services when they eventually take over the assets.
Having described it as a good development for the power sector, he said since the Federal Government was putting on offer some of the independent power plants, the buyers would need engineers and other professionals to work with them.
“There are graduate re-training programme that is being carried out in Kainji, Kano and Oji River, to step up the knowledge that is needed to be acquired by engineering graduates that are churned out by the Nigerian universities,” he said.
But another industry operator, who does not want his name mentioned, said the development was a two-edged sword as it means jobs losses for a lot of people and opportunities for a few. According to him, there would be a lot of outsourcing in the sector by the time the private investors take over the industry. He however stated that the investors should do due diligence on the workers of all the power plants and distribution companies, and pick the ones that can adapt to changes, saying saying the industry may not need more than 5,000 workers, while over 30,000 workers may lose their jobs.
Recently, the Transmission Company of Nigeria advertised that it required 500 engineers of
various cadre to maintain the transmission lines in the country.
Reuben Okeke, director general, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, said the privatisation exercise would create job opportunities and curb the dearth of human capital in the sector occasioned by about 18 years of embargo placed by the Federal Government. “Since 1998, there has not been structured employment in the power sector but now that there are openings for the private investors to come and participate in the running of the industry, there are several jobs opening that Nigerians can take advantage of,” he said.
He noted that there were opportunities for artisans, technicians, and engineers in the emerging power sector.