Fashola at the flag off event of Revalidation, certification of electrical installation contractors

ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF POWER, WORKS AND

HOUSING, BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA, SAN,

AT THE OCCASION OF FLAG-OFF EVENT OF

REVALIDATION/CERTIFICATION OF ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION

CONTRACTORS IN NIGERIA

JULY 26, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s event is more than a programme of revalidation/certification of

Electrical Installation Contractors in Nigeria.

It is a restatement of our commitment to standard and best practices in the

power sector. It is a commitment to our people that their interest is paramount

to us. With this certification and revalidation exercise, we are assuring the

citizens of this great country that their safety and that of their property will not

be compromised.

Often times, we tend to see the power sector in terms of only generation,

transmission and distribution. However, an important component of the

industry is the quality of electrical equipment as well as qualification of those

responsible for our electrical installations.

I must therefore commend the Nigerian Electricity Management Services

Agency (NEMSA) for the strategic role it is playing in this regard.

As we heard in the course of Engineer Ewesor’s Welcome Address, NEMSA

was primarily established by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services

Agency Act of 2015 to carry out Enforcement of Technical Standards and

Regulation, Technical Inspection, Testing and Certification of all categories of

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electrical installation/power systems, electricity meters and instruments etc. to

ensure the efficient production and delivery of safe, reliable and sustainable

electricity supply and guarantee safety of lives and property in the Nigerian

Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and other allied industries/workplaces.

Arising from the provisions of the Act, it becomes expedient on NEMSA to

intensify its effort in ensuring the issuance of certificates to electrical

installation contractors working in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry

(NESI) and other allied industries/workplaces in line with international best

practices.

This will promote and increase technical capacity of the electrical installation

contractors to guarantee safety of workmen, lives and property in the industry.

The overall objective of the certification is to ensure that only skilled,

experienced and competent professionals engage in the business of electrical

installation work in the country. The role of NEMSA, therefore, becomes

critical in NESI to stamp out sharp and unethical practices hitherto engaged in

by uncertified electrical installation contractors. This will guarantee safety,

security, reliability and quality of service at all points of the electricity supply

value chain. The task of sanitizing the industry in terms of safety and

standards should therefore be a collective responsibility of all stakeholders,

with NEMSA driving the process.

We are all aware that, until recently, there had not been any practical

substantial new investments made in the Generation, Transmission and

Distribution networks in Nigeria. NESI had thus suffered serious investment

neglect in new infrastructure in transmission and distribution networks, and

other electrical installations, with the attendant repercussion of obsolete power

facilities, the quality of which can no longer sustain steady power supply and

safety of lives and property.

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As we make efforts towards achieving incremental, stable and uninterrupted

power supply in the country, the functions and responsibilities of NEMSA

become even more critical to the industry.

It is important to state that when we eventually achieve regular and

uninterrupted power supply, the state of our networks will play a crucial and

significant role in ensuring the uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians. If

networks collapse as a result of poor workmanship, construction and

installation of our networks, then uninterrupted power supply will be seriously

hindered.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we must therefore insist on the best

quality and demand for full value in the power sector. The era of substandard

products, and the period of ‘managing’ electrical installation is gone for good.

With today’s programme of revalidation/certification of electrical installation

contractors, Nigerians will no longer accept bad poles. Our people will not

accept poor materials and poor workmanship. Nigerians must get value for

their hard-earned money.

I therefore wish to state in unequivocal terms that government will no longer

condone substandard electrical installations and use of substandard electrical

materials and equipment within our networks. The life of every single Nigerian

is important to us.

It is our responsibility to ensure that our people do not lose their lives and

properties due to someone’s negligence and poor judgment.

By institutionalizing certification as a core component of our power industry,

the Government is making a definitive statement of its readiness to apply and

implement all relevant legal instruments in this regard.

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Certification as Electrical installation contractors is therefore not a right. It is a

privilege and being a privilege it is subject to professionalism, competence

and good standing. It follows therefore that the certificate could be withdrawn

where the holder is adjudged to be incompetent or negligent.

In addition to having their certificates withdrawn, such professionals will also

be reported to their professional institutes for necessary sanctions to be

applied.

Where the misconduct also constitutes a criminal offence, the affected

contractor will be liable to prosecution under relevant legislation. For instance,

it is a criminal offence, punishable with a term of imprisonment under the

Criminal Code for a person to cause harm to another person by failing to do

any act, or omit to do any act which it is his duty to do. In effect, a contractor

who causes harm to a person as a result of his failure to do his duty is

therefore liable to be prosecuted for his negligence.

Let me conclude by reminding us that safety is our collective responsibility. As

citizens, it is our responsibility to ensure that we engage and employ only

electrical installation contractors certified by NEMSA.

As Government, through NEMSA, we are committed to ensuring that electrical

installations in NESI and other workplaces in Nigeria are handled by only

qualified and certified electrical personnel.

I am convinced that this will go a long way towards ensuring stable networks,

quality electrical installations in residential, commercial and industrial

premises to deliver safe, regular and uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians

and safety of lives and property at all times.

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Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on this note, it is my singular honour to

flag-off the National Certification of Electrical Installation Contractors in

Nigeria.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN

Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing

July 26, 2016

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