31 July 2014, Abuja – Prior to the privatisation of the successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the firm employed no new engineer for over 16 years, the Federal Government has said.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said this in Abuja at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Youth Summit organised by the Youth Initiative for Leadership and Rural Development.
According to him, this flaw and a few other issues led to the abysmal performance of the power sector and contributed to the abandonment of electrical equipment at the ports for several years.
Nebo, in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kande Daniel, on Tuesday, stated that the present reforms in the sector had given rise to the employment of about 1,000 young engineers.
He said the reforms were being religiously implemented with a view to achieving sufficiency in power supply, which would usher in industrialisation and greater economic growth than had already been achieved.
On the Federal Government’s recent move of taking delivery of 248 containers of vital electricity equipment abandoned at the Lagos ports for several years, the minister said the abandonment was a demonstration of the need to privatise the sector, as no private entrepreneur would have tolerated such a waste.
Nebo said the recovery of the equipment was in line with the present administration’s policy of minimising waste and maximising benefits by synergising with the Nigeria Customs Service to ensure the release of the containers.
The minister and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Godknows Igali, took delivery of the power transmission equipment and ensure their evacuation for immediate delivery to project sites last Thursday.
Nebo said the Federal Government had put structures in place to make Nigerian youths industry-ready to man the evolving private sector-driven power sector.
According to him, this will provide self and paid employment for the youth and meet the local content requirement for the power sector so as to avoid foreign domination.
He explained that specific schemes and initiatives targeted at empowering young Nigerians included the Power Sector Entrepreneurship Programme, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme and the capacity development offered through the National Power Training Institute, whose graduates were already being engaged to provide the needed technical expertise in the privatised power sector.
– The Punch