The Sahara Power Group (SPG) says it has trained no fewer than 198 engineers under its Graduate Engineering Programme (GEP) in the last four years.
Its Group Managing Director, Mr Kola Adesina, made the announcement at the induction programme of 38 GEP Trainees in Lagos, last Friday.
The training is being organised by the SPG Generation family-Egbin Power Plc and First Independent Power Limited in collaboration with the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).
Adesina said the trainees were selected out of over 8,500 applicants to participate in the training after a very rigorous process, adding that they were chosen from various fields of engineering profession including electrical, chemical, electronic and mechanical.
He said the current crop of 29 male and nine female graduands had distinguished themselves as the best set of the GEP since the programme started in 2014.
Adesina said : “Over the past 12 months, they have embarked on intensive classroom training and hands-on activities across power generation, operations, distribution, transmission, electricity and commercial awareness.
“These rigorous sessions led by seasoned power experts have given our graduates a strategic understanding of the entire value chain of the Nigerian power sector.
“I am confident that this foundation will empower our future power experts to disrupt and transform the sector as they progress in their careers. “
According to him, the GEP has birthed several success stories in the past four years and has produced 198 engineers who are driven by innovation and passion to light up Africa.
“I am confident that the programme will remain a robust platform for developing the next generation of power experts that will ensure Sahara Power Group continues to bring energy to life in Nigeria and Africa.
“Since 2014, Sahara Power Group has recruited over 130 graduate engineers in line with our commitment to empower the youth and develop local capacity in the power sector,” he said.
On his part, the Director General of NAPTIN, Mr Ahmed Nagode, said that the GEP was a very important and fundamental programme in the career of a professional engineer in the power sector.
“It is a programme that bridges the gap between academic qualification of BSC/HND in Electrical and Mechanical engineering and the skills required to operate on the power networks,” Nagode said.
The director-general said that NAPTIN was committed to filling the manpower gap in the energy sector through its various training programmes and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for upgrading the institute’s facilities to enable it deliver on its mandate.
He said : “I congratulate the graduands for adding another profile to your Curriculum Vitae.
“I urge you to be good Alumni of NAPTIN and ensure that you are better industry players by giving back to Sahara Power the gains of this investment on your competence.”
Mr Joseph Adetubo, who was the best male graduand, thanked Sahara Power Group for the training, saying it further exposed the trainees to the workings of the power sector.
EEDC Begins Free Mass Metering To Customers
In accordance with the National Mass Metering Programme ( NMMP), an initiative of the Federal Government designed to ensure speedy deployment of meters to electricity customers, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has commenced mass meter roll-out to its customers.
This development was made known in Enugu at the weekend by the Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr. Emeka Ezeh.
He assured that the meters would get to the customers free, as they will not be required to make any upfront payment to be metered.
“The mass metering programme comes at no cost to our customers, and we kicked off last week Thursday, using select feeders under our Ogui and Abakpa Districts as a pilot.
“Already, the pre-installation survey has begun at these pilot locations, and meters are being installed simultaneously.
“Customers are requested to cooperate with EEDC as the modalities for deployment will be according to feeders and distribution substations. Information on this will be made available to customers as the exercise progresses”, Ezeh said.
Ezeh advised customers against falling victim to some elements that might want to extort them of their hard-earned money in the process, assuring them that the meter is free and that with time it will get to everyone.
It is expected that by the end of 2021, a substantial number of electricity customers within the EEDC network would have been metered, he assured.
According to him, the NMMP programme will go a long way in reducing the high ATC&C losses, enhance EEDC’s revenue, eliminate issues bothering on estimated billing and also enable customers to manage their energy consumption.
EEDC reaffirms its commitment to metering its customers and ensuring that the NMMP which will help close the metering gap and gradually put an end to issues around estimated billing succeeds.
Electricity Grid Collapses 27 Times In Three Years
The nation’s power grid collapsed 27 times in the last three years, the latest data from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator (NESO) have shown.
The number of times the national grid suffered a collapse fell to four in 2020 from 10 in 2019 and 13 in 2018, according to the data.
The grid recorded 25 total collapses in the period under review while two were partial.
A total system collapse means total blackout nationwide, while partial system collapse is a failure of a section of the grid, according to NESO.
The grid has continued to suffer system collapse over the years amid lack of spinning reserve that is meant to forestall such occurrences.
Spinning reserve is the generation capacity that is online but unloaded and that can respond within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages.
Although five power stations are meant to provide spinning reserves, sometimes none may have actual reserve.
The power stations are Egbin, Delta, Olorunsogo NIPP, Geregu NIPP and Omotosho NIPP.
Total power generation in the country stood at 4,547.70 megawatts as of 6am on Thursday, according to NESO data.
The system operator put the nation’s installed generation capacity at 12,954.40MW; available capacity at 7,652.60MW; transmission wheeling capacity at 7,300MW; and the peak generation ever attained at 5520.4MW.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in its latest quarterly report, noted the improvement in grid stability in the first quarter of 2020.
NERC said to further improve the grid stability and prevent system collapse in subsequent quarters and beyond, it would, in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria, intensify efforts to ensure further improvement in the grid performance.
It said it would also intensify the monitoring of strict compliance to the system operator’s directives to generators on free governor and frequency control mode in line with the provisions of the subsisting operating codes in the electricity industry.
“Furthermore, the commission has reviewed the outcome of the competitive procurement of spinning reserves conducted by TCN. This is to guarantee adequate spinning reserves for proper management of the grid by the SO,” the report said.
The commission noted that frequency fluctuation and other harmonic distortion would result in poor power quality that could damage sensitive industrial machinery and equipment connected at high voltage levels.
“To minimise the frequency and voltage fluctuations, the commission shall continue to work with TCN and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that system voltage and frequencies operate within the prescribed regulatory limits in order to ensure safe and reliable electricity supply,” it said.
Lagos, UK Sign MoU To Improve Access To Energy
AS part of government efforts in improving accessibility to off-grid electricity in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British Government funded Africa Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility (ACE TAF).
The four-year programme being implemented by Tetra Tech International Development is to be bankrolled by the UK Government Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
During the signing ceremony which held recently, the governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Hamzat Obafemi Kadir, stated that energy improvement and access “is a key pillar of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, emphasising that he would do all that is necessary to improve energy access of the citizens in the State.”
Responding, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Ben Llewellyn-Jones, said, “The UK is proud to support the Lagos State Government’s effort to improve off grid access in Lagos State through the Africa Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility (ACE TAF) programme. We want to see this partnership translate to improved state electrification that will support private sector entry, attract investment and create more jobs in Lagos State.”
According to the State Commissioner for Energy and Resources, Mr Olalere Odusote, the state governemnt “is working assiduously to facilitate the improvement in energy access in the State, as off-grid solar sector has emerged as an important component to achieve access to energy for all in the State.”
“The relevant policies are being put in place to encourage the uptake of off-grid solar in the State. The readiness of the Ministry to partner with the private sector to achieve desired access to energy by all in the State is our priority.”
Also speaking, the ACE TAF Nigeria Country Manager, Mr. Chibuikem Agbaegbu said the partnership would strengthen the collaboration between the state government and ACE TAF towards improving reliable electricity delivery in the state and attracting increased private sector investment for off-grid solar.
“Governor Sanwo-Olu has being exploring all opportunities to improve electricity and increase access to energy by Lagosians through various initiatives and innovative platforms such as Lagos Smart Meter Initiative, the development of the Integrated Resource Plan for the State supported by the USAID Nigeria Power Sector Program (NPSP) and the recent execution of Streetlight Infrastructural Agreement with LEDCO Limited to retrofit existing streetlight infrastructure across the State from High Pressure Sodium (HPS) to a more efficient and cost-effective Smart Light Emitting Diode (LED),” he stressed.
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