The management of Kaduna Electric Distribution Company has recruited over 3,000 new staff into its work force, to boost its performance and operational efficiency.
Addressing the new staff during their induction course in Kaduna, Managing Director of the company, Engineer Garba Haruna, said the company is undergoing a complete overhaul, hence the need to inject new and vibrant young men and women into its workforce for qualitative service delivery is essential.
He charged the new inductees to live above board and contribute their quota in providing maximum satisfaction to its customers.
The Mr. Haruna stressed that while the management is ready to provide the conducive environment necessary for the staff to deliver on their mandate, the company in turn expects them to reciprocate the gesture through hard work and dedication to their duties.
Apart from the new intakes, the company said about 15,000 indirect jobs would be created through third party vendors and contractors.
The newly recruited staff will be exposed to basic engineering, human resources, safety marking, corporate rules and regulations, metering installation and operational guidelines.
He assured that the induction course and basic training which is being carried out simultaneously in Sokoto and Kaduna, is aimed at providing basic orientation to the newly recruited staff.
A former Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, on Wednesday called on investors in Nigeria’s power sector to start investing, to improve the quality of service and deliver better power supply to the citizens as that was the reason the government sold the infrastructure to them.
According to Mr Nnaji, one of the keynote speakers at the 7th Lagos Economic Summit (EHINGBETI 2014) said the new owners “invested to purchase but they haven’t invested to improve.” He said this while appearing on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
Mr Nnaji mentioned that rapid investment is one key issue and the companies that purchased the distribution and generation companies must invest quickly because “that’s the whole essence of the privatization.”
He added that the privatization process would be meaningless unless those companies actually deliver on what they signed on to, which is, “they must invest to improve efficiency of collection and the network for distribution companies. Those who purchased generation companies must invest to lift the generation figures. ”
The Federal Government had assured Nigerians that the reforms made in the power sector would put an end to epileptic power supply experienced in many parts of the country but many still complain of poor service.
On this Nnaji said the performance growth in the sector should have been incremental and that the investors would need to replace a lot of dilapidated transformers, lines as well as install connection systems, prepaid meters to satisfy the demand for electricity.
He said, the time it would take citizens to feel the impact of the privatization process would vary depending on the area, noting that it would take about a year for those in Lagos to feel the changes.
He disclosed that there were generating plants in Lagos which only require gas to deliver power as quickly as possible. He mentioned that vandalism was playing a huge role on the unavailability of gas and that the infrastructure needs more investment and monitoring systems to ensure better delivery.
When asked about the possibilities of hydro power, Nnaji said “Hydro has a limit. After Mambilla and Zungaru (power plants), there’s really no other big hydro that we are working on so we have to understand that as a country.
Nnaji, who said that the success of Nigeria’s power sector would have to come from gas fired plants and coal fired plants, noted that there were large deposits of coal in Enugu, Benue, Kogi and Gombe States.
He mentioned that the large economies of the world including America and China were using coal-fired plants to generate up to 60 percent of their power despite the negative implications to the environment.
“So people can’t tell Nigeria, you should be very clean and be tree-huggers here, while they are powering their economy with coal. It’s just unacceptable. I think (in) Nigeria, we have to willfully go about this and invest in coal-fired plants.”
He defended his position on Nigeria using coal despite the implications to environmental health, stating that the coal quality in Nigeria is better that in many other countries. The coal has no sulfur and has high calorific value and so not “great pollutants” to the environment.
A columnist with Thisday Newspaper, Simeon Kolawole has said that the former Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji took the right thing to have step aside from the power sector since his companies had interest in the sector.
Speaking as a guest in Channels Television’s weekend programme, Sunrise, Mr Kolawole said that though on assumption of office, the minister said that he has ceded his stakes in the companies to a blind trust, practically, this was not possible.
President Goodluck Jonathan has once more assured Nigerians and foreign investors that the progress made in the power sector remains irreversible. The president gave this assurance while inaugurating two committees that he said will work day and night to ensure that Nigerians enjoy steady power supply despite the recent resignation of the minister of power, Barth Nnaji.
The committees are the presidential action committee on power which will headed by Mr Jonathan himself.
The other members of the presidential action committee on power include Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim, and the head of service of the federation, Isa Bello Sali.
Others are the chief of staff to the president, the Attorney General of the Federation, the coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, the Ministers of Labour and Productivity, power, Petroleum resources, and National Planning, the Chief Economic Adviser to the president, the personal adviser to the president on performance monitoring, the Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), the Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) , the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) and the Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The second committee on power reconstituted by President Jonathan is the Presidential Task Force which will be headed by Engineer Beks Dagogo-Jack.
The other members of this committee are the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Pls, Rumundaka Wonodi, the Chief Executive Officer of Transmission Company of Nigeria, Olusola Akinniraye, the Chief Executive Officer of Abuja Electrity Distribution Company, Abdulganiyu Umar, the Chief Executive Officer of Ughelli Power Plc, Paul Umunna, the Chief Executive Officer of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Oladele Amoda.
Others are the Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, James Olotu, the Managing Director of Nigeria Gas Company, Saidu Mohammed, the Chief Executive Officer of Geregu Power Plc, Adeyemi Adenuga, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dere Awosika.
The Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji was denied entry into the PHCN corporate headquarters in Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday by members of the company’s union who were opposed to the take-over of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) by Manitoba Hydro International, a Canadian company.
The minister was in the company of officials of the firm apparently on an inspection tour of the TCN which operates from the PHCN headquarters.
According to media reports, the North-Central zonal organising secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Temple Iworima, said the unions are against the imminent takeover of TCN by Manitoba, owing to its alleged disagreement with government over unresolved labour issues.
“Agreements on severance packages, pension and gratuity for the workers are still outstanding after 18 months of negotiations. It was agreed upon by both parties through the Hassan Sunmonu-led negotiation panel that there would be no take-over of the PHCN until labour issues are fully resolved,” Mr Iworima said.
Nnaji says Takeover is a done deal
Meanwhile Mr Nnaji said that the takeover of the transmission company of Nigeria by Canadian company Manitoba hydro is a done deal.
At a news conference in Abuja, the Minister said government has not been successful in the running of the power sector and the way forward is private sector participation to help the country achieve more robust returns.
He however assured the union that all payments due them will not be withheld and also inaugurated a committee to investigate the status of the pension scheme in the power sector and identify officers involved in acts of misconduct.
Pension scams have been rocking various sectors and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria seems to have come into the picture with allegations of N200 billion scam in the pension fund.