Chinedu-Nebo-Minister-of-Power-300x200The privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector is under threat, following an indication of an impending acute manpower shortage in the power sector.

This came as the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, NAPTIN said it is faced by 8,400 deficits in skilled manpower, which according to Reuben Okeke, its director-general, would rise to over 17,000 in four years.

Investigation by Daily Independent across the country showed noticeable shortfall in the commercial operation of the privatised distribution companies.

While some customers are yet to be served the bills for power consumed in October, others complained of a drastic fall in power supply to their area, as only a few now enjoy supply.

Following the takeover of the various facilities on November 1, by the new owners, over 60 per cent of the workforce manning the privatised former Power Holding Company of Nigeria assets was sacked.

The BPE had on Monday November 4, issued sack letters dated October 21 to the workers in a move to perfect the privatisation of the PHCN.

Director, Human Resources at the Ministry, Grace Papka however admitted that the task of producing the required skilled manpower needed to achieve and drive the target capacity of 40,000mw is huge.

Pakpa who disclosed this at the induction ceremony for 274 trainees by the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, NAPTIN, Graduate Skills Development Programme for 2013/2014 session, said that the skills are needed to drive the sector.

Okeke said so far, about 5,340 power sector workers have benefited from NAPTIN intervention programme to bridge the skill gaps in the sector.

Director General of Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, Benjamin Dikki, also disclosed that investors in the power generating companies of the former PHCN are under obligation to increase generation capacity by 5000 mega watts in five years which would require an investment of $7.5billion.

He added that distribution companies are also contractually obligated to Reduce Aggregate Technical and Commercial Losses that will require an investment of about $1.8 billion in five years.

According to him, “The core investors must invest in capacity building and skilled manpower if they are to achieve their targets.”


[Daily Independent]