By Oke Peter
Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), Nigeria’s leading electricity distribution company, has trained 140 employees to boost metering density and meter management across its network.
Speaking during the presentation of certificates to the graduands, the Chief Executive Officer, Ikeja Electric, Folake Soetan, said Ikeja Electric Metering Academy was launched in 2020 as a result of shortage in human capacity for the installation of meters, resulting in slow pace of metering across its network.
The CEO who was represented by Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ikeja Electric, Mrs. Sequinat Akinwunmi, said the training was done in collaboration with the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) and the Energy Training Centre (ETC).
According to her, the young graduands were selected across Ikeja Electric’s six Business Units – Akowonjo, Shomolu, Abule-Egba, Ikeja, Oshodi and Ikorodu. Akinwunmi said the essence of the training was to bridge the metering gap in the industry which aligns with the vision of Ikeja Electric, as well as the Federal Government’s National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).
“The programme will also equip staff to carry out the functions including meter installation, identifying faults and also rectifying the faults. This will in turn improve service delivery, ensure customer satisfaction, and also grow revenue,” she added.
“This programme is very important to us. That is why we have put in a lot of resources and time, and also partnered with NAPTIN and ETC to close up this skill gap in the industry,” Akinwunmi further explained. While congratulating the graduating students, she tasked them to be worthy ambassadors of Ikeja Electric and adhere to safety standards which is one of the DisCo’s core values.
The Managing Director, Energy Training Centre, Mrs. Ibiene Okeleke said: “Ikeja Electric had invested heavily in the Metering Academy. They partnered with Energy Training Centre (ETC) to ensure the 140 candidates were trained by the Metering Academy, across three batches.
According to her, “The Energy Training Centre had signed a partnership with NAPTIN, which is the sector’s regulated training centre that works with Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). So, NAPTIN was acting as the certifying body, and as such, they ensured that the programme followed the curriculum and the right content, and there is quality assurance as well. And so NAPTIN did not just play this role in certifying, they ensured that the faculty maintained high standard.”
She commended Ikeja Electric for investing massively in such a laudable programme, while noting that the initiative shows the commitment of the company to get people who have the desire to do things the right way. She added, “It was also important for us to reflect on the opportunities to increase the revenue of IE through meter data management, optimization of operations and other initiatives.”
The Director-General, NAPTIN, Mr. Ahmed Bolaji Nagode, explained that the institute was saddled with the responsibility to build human capacity and to coordinate training in the power sector. He said the training would also help to shore up the DisCo’s revenue collection and improve customer satisfaction, apart from increasing the level of efficiency of the graduands.
Speaking on behalf of the graduating students, Mr. Akingbade Adeniyi, Mr Tomilayo Oluborode and Ms. Gloria Gomina, thanked Ikeja Electric for facilitating the training. According to them, they have been equipped on how to install meters, identify meter bypass and meter management among other things which would improve their job performances going forward.