Workers in the power industry have said the expansion programmes in the sector would help prevent job losses arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, different economies of the world have been impacted negatively, a development that has led to staff reduction and salary cuts in many firms.
The impact is also felt in Nigeria with the crash in the price of the country’s main revenue source, crude oil, leading to harsh economic situation.
Workers in the oil, aviation, banking and other sectors had expressed worries over job losses in various segments of the economy.
But their counterparts in the power sector believe that the pandemic may not warrant the loss of jobs in the industry as a result of the current expansion drive in Nigeria’s power sector.
The President, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, Transmission Company of Nigeria branch, Abidemi Dairo, said the power sector was being expanded and would need more hands.
According to him, the current supply of electricity to consumers across the country is still far lower than the quantum demanded.
He said, “We don’t see that fear in the power sector as a whole because the power sector is expanding. And as we are generating, we are transmitting and distributing it to the public.
“We have yet to meet even the expected energy load demand of the country. But this again is because we have some bottlenecks with some networks, for instance, the distribution network.”
The SSAEAC president noted that the expansion of the sector was vital if the country must enjoy stable power supply.
“So when talking about possible job losses across various sectors, we are not seeing the situation as something that will affect the power sector because this industry is expanding and this expansion is vital,” he told our correspondent in Abuja.
The Managing Director, TCN, Usman Mohammed, confirmed the expansion drive in the sector, as he noted that the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme was still ongoing, despite being slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are still implementing the TREP and in that respect, we are about to finalise an agreement with the AFD to do the eastern backbone,” Mohammed told our correspondent recently.
He added, “This eastern backbone is a transmission line that we are building which is going to take electricity from Calabar to Ikom, then to Ogoja down to Kashambilla and back to Kano.”