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Firm outlines capacity building scheme in power sector




TO tackle capacity gap in the power sector, Infranet Energy Services has outlined series of training programme. Unveiling the firm’s infrastructure capacity and facilitators, the Marketing Director, Wale Ogunbufunmi, disclosed that the firm would be providing trainings for the array of manpower and skills the sector’s new investors and infrastructure would throw up.

He said: “Our long term plan is to establish a fully equipped power academy in Nigeria offering certified training programmes for technicians and engineers alike.”

Ogunbufunmi said: “We also intend to align this with the manpower requirements of the key operators in the sector, ensuring immediate employment for those that have graduated through our power academy. These initiatives will only compliment the services currently being offered by NAPTIN.”

He noted that the sector’s privatisation “has also left an obvious vacuum with a shortage of skilled engineers and technicians within the sector, which presently and in future will have an adverse effect on the sector.

He said: “If not immediately addressed, this will lead to key operators recruiting expatriates to fill the vacuum, and this comes at a cost that would in turn be passed to the consumer in increased electricity tariffs.”

To remedy this, therefore, the firm has set up series of workshops and conferences, starting with the “Interpretation and understanding of the Nigerian Transitional Electricity Market Rules,” designed to immediately start addressing that problem.

He explained that the facilitators will bring along decades of experience in the global power sectors, including Dr. Stephen Labson, the Managing Director of Economics Pty Ltd – a boutique economics consulting firm that specialises in utilities and infrastructure and serves government and corporate clients in Africa, Asia and Australia.

According to the firm, Labson’s experience in electricity markets dates back to 1994 when, as senior executive in the Victorian Department of Minerals and Energy, he assisted in the development of Australia’s first wholesale electricity market, adding that he has since advised regulators, operators and investors in transition to Australia’s national electricity market.

In Africa Labson has been an adviser to Eskom (SOC) Ltd, providing regulatory and commercial advice to South Arica’s vertically integrated national power company.

He is also a director with Trans African Energy – a project advisory group assisting in development of medium size power projects across South Africa. Equally involved is Uzoma. D. Achinanya, who was the Nigerian electricity industry’s first market operator, during which period he pioneered the development of most of the key tools for the day to day administration of the market.

He also identified Chidi Ike, a senior adviser to the Presidential Taskforce on Power, and Abdulkadir Shettima, an expert in NESI market design, market rules, the Multi-Year Tariff Order, Bulk Power Procurement and several other regulations designed to ensure a competitive industry and market structure.

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