28 February 2014, Abuja – The federal government has begun the process of easing out sub-standard products used by operators in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) starting with concrete electricity poles.
In this regard, the government, through the Electricity Management Service (EMS) Limited, one of the successor companies that emerged from the unbundling of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), kick-started routine nationwide inspection of activities of companies that manufacture concrete electric poles in its bid to ensure total compliance to extant standards in their operations.
The Managing Director of EMS, Mr. Peter Ewesor, who inspected various concrete electric pole manufacturer within and around the federal capital city, told journalists that the government had through the new inspectorate company decided to revalidate the existence and operational characters of such outfits that are listed in the national electric poles manufacturers’ directorate.
He said the measure had become necessary in view of the expected increase in consumption of electricity equipment in NESI as well as the need to encourage Nigerians manufacturers of concrete electric poles to embrace standard practices in their production outfits.
Ewesor also explained that the revalidation exercise was planned to help checkmate the rate of electricity accidents that are recorded in the NESI, homes and companies across the country. He added that some of the accidents were usually associated with the use of inferior and unauthorised electricity equipment.
“Any line that is being built, the major component that is used is the pole which carries every other thing on the line. We are ensuring that any pole that is being produced will have the required quality, stability and strength to carry the load and external pressure that would come eventually.
“What we are trying to avoid is the collapse of poles as soon as power projects are inaugurated; when it collapses, people are cut off from power supply, causing hazard and danger to the environment which sometime leads to death of technicians falling from the pole,” Ewesor said.
He further noted: “We are giving the pole manufacturers certain additional requirements to ensure that the poles they manufacture will better serve the purpose they are meant for. “Before now, the electricity inspectorate service of the Ministry of Power was statutorily carrying out what we now do; that is testing of equipment used in the sector to ensure that bad and sub-standard materials are not allowed in the industry.”
Speaking on the rationale behind the monitoring exercise which he said would be routinely conducted nationwide, Ewesor stated that: “If you do not monitor the operations of the industry, you find that we will have equipment that go into state of disrepair and instances of maybe conductors dropping off loosely without anyone caring to replace them as we often see.
“To avoid electrocution, we need to continuously monitoring its operations to ensure that misfortunes are avoided. This is an agency of the government with core technical inspectorate competence and we are trying to tell the public that there is now an independent agency that is saddled with the responsibility of testing electricity equipment including meters for better calibrations.”
He added that EMS had also developed punitive measures to contain errant pole manufacturers in the country.
“There are sanctions for errant manufacturer, and the national electric poles manufacturers directorate was developed to show that those who are not in the directorate are not certified to produce poles used in the industry while those that are certified have sanctions that include withdrawal of production licence as a result of maybe poor product quality that has led to damages in the industry,” Ewesor said.
– This Day