NEDC, firm train 150 youths

Momas Electrical Meters Manufacturing Company Ltd and the North East Development Commission have trained 150 youths from the north-eastern region, in a bid to address the country’s metering gap, currently put at about eight million.

The Chairman of MOMAS Group, Engr Kola Balogun on the Federal Government to address the skills deficit in the metering sector, saying it was hampering the growth of the power sector.

He made the call at the graduation ceremony of NEDC-sponsored trainees from MOMAS Metering School.

Balogun stressed the need for Nigeria to boost local capacity in meter production to meet the country’s growing demand, saying the MEMMCOL Metering School was established to bridge the huge gap.

“This is why a programme such as this is 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 stated.

It said the firm has identified opportunities in the power sector and decided to empower these youths with technical-know on how to install meters in the country.

He, however, called on the government to resuscitate values among youths, arguing that this was the only way to change the Nigerian narrative.

Balogun also stated that the German government was planning to support MOMwith funds to establish a bigger school, saying the deficit also rubs off on other sectors of the economy.

He said the metering school will also be collaborating wite Minnesota State University to extend all its programmes.

“We are not just all about technicalities but about values. We want to change the perception of the people about Nigeria.

“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,” he added.

Also speaking, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEDC, Mohammed Alkali, said the NEDC engaged the services of Momas Metering School to train 150 youths from the North East on the theory, practical skills and regulations of energy meters installations and electrical building installations as part of its youth empowerment programme.

Represented by the Deputy General Manager, Education, NEDC, Fatima Ciroma, he said the training specifically aimed to produce certified installers and technicians for electricity meter installations to meet the demand of Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Programme as approved by the Federal Government.

“Beyond the technical aspect of the training, the module also trained students on how to start a startup and become entrepreneurs.

“The training is beneficial to the North East and is in line with the commission’s commitment to helping to reduce unemployment and increase skilled labour and workforce in the North East as well as the commission’s mandate regarding human capacity development as a tool for eradicating poverty in the North East,” he added.

He pointed out that the commission’s collaboration with the MOMAS training school covered tuition, accommodation, feeding, upkeep, personal protective equipment, customised tools bag with tools, course materials as well as extra-curricular activities while the training school provided the technical component.

In his words: “The 150 participants were drawn from the six North East states to attend the training. Even though we are graduating 149 trainees here today, we are immensely impressed that all of you here remained steadfast and received valuable knowledge that will assist you in your future.

“I implore all of you graduating today to go back home and utilise the skills you have learnt. You have all become certified electricians and I am sure the demand for electrical services would never be limited in your various communities.”

However, he appealed to the beneficiaries of the training to be honest, hardworking and committed in all they do.

He said NEDC was committed to all initiatives that can facilitate the redevelopment and revitalisation of the North East, maintaining that the key to recovery in the region lies in the quality of human resources it is able to produce in the long term.

Speaking on behalf of the graduands, Flora Yuguda from Taraba State, commended MOMAS and NEDC for the initiative, saying that it has upgraded her status.

She promised to do more if given the financial assistance required to excel in her field.

She urged NEDC and MOMAS for more support after the programme while also promising that she would impact her community with what she has learnt.

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