The Federal Government, has declared war on sharp and unethical practices in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, which has contributed to the poor power generation in the country.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who made this known at the flag-off event for the re-validation certification of contractors, stated that henceforth only certified, suitably qualified electrical installation contractors are to operate in Nigeria.
Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, stated that it is now mandatory that only those issued with graded licenses by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA, will be allowed to practice in the system.
He lamented the fact that before the creation of NEMSA, the industry has been bedeviled with unprofessionalism and quackery, which has led to the high spate of electrical electrocutions and untimely deaths.
The main objective of the certification exercise, is to ensure that only skilled, experienced and competent professionals, engage in the business of electrical installation work in the country.
He however, noted that NEMSA, as a regulator, is critical to the survival of the industry and the attainment of the government’s planned incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply, as it would do all it can in ensuring network stability, which could be aggravated by poor workmanship, construction and installation of power networks.
“Our safety will not be compromised, as government will sanction defaulters, as we do not wish to loose lives of our citizens anymore, so also the loss of properties, due to someone’s negligence and poor judgment”.
Furthermore, the Minister, said that having their certificates or licenses withdrawn, would not be enough punishment for culprits, as they will face the full wrath of the law, which stipulates prosecution for criminal misconducts for erring contractors.
The Minister, further reiterated that the government is committed to ensuring through NEMSA, that electrical installations are safe and certified, so also other work places in Nigeria, adding that this will go a long way in generating stable network, quality electrical installation in residential, commercial and industrial premises.
“Also, the power sector is poised to deliver safe regular and uninterrupted power supply, thereby ensuring safety of lives and properties at all times.” the statement stated
Also speaking at the event, Engineer Peter Ewesor, the Managing Director/CEO of NEMSA, recalled that, “this certification was formerly known as Electrical Wiring License, issued only to qualified electrical installation wire-men and contractors, on the premise that safety would be ensured. This practice had it draw-backs, which resulted in fire outbreaks on buildings, due mainly to weak compliance monitoring.
“This has put more responsibility on NEMSA in line with its slogan, “safety first, safety always” and with improved manpower availability and spread of electrical inspectorate officers in today’s power sector, it is now more compelling for the regulatory body to check these lapses largely responsible for state of disrepair.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries; Licensed Electrical Contractors Association of Nigeria, LECAN, Otunba Dele Adetola, promised the Government that members of his association will make judicious use of the license issued to them, saying that they would contribute their quota to uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians as planned by the Government.