BEDC signs MoU with varsity for human capital development



As a way of boosting the quality of its personnel, the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, to train young Nigerians about the power sector.

The capacity building agreement is being promoted by Vigeo Power Academy, an arm of Vigeo Power Limited, which is a core investor in BEDC.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, told journalists last week in Benin City, Edo State, ‎that the MoU was part of efforts to train new and existing personnel of the firm on best technical practices for addressing the needs of electricity consumers in the country.

Osibodu said the five-year partnership would cover the cost of training facilities in the university and remuneration of staff drawn from both in-house academy and the private institution.

She disclosed that so far, the company has recruited close to 200 graduates in the field of engineering, computer science, accounting and other analytical sciences to commence the first phase of a one year training programme comprising on-the-job rotational training and up to three months classroom training adding that during the on-the-job training, graduate trainees would be rotated across the various departments of BEDC to gather first-hand experiences, after which the classroom training begins. “This signing of a Memorandum of Agreement commits us to work together closely towards our common goal, which is grooming a crop of skilled workforce as a way of building capacity in the power sector.

“Each party will pursue numerous significant activities such as effective classroom trainings, fieldwork, physical activities and community development projects to mention a few,” she added.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Valentine Aletor, described the initiative as a timely intervention to address major challenges such as human capital deficit and corruption practice in the power sector.

“VIPL-EU joint initiative is to engender government-‎industry-university partnership in research and innovation for the projection of local initiatives, which would ultimately lead to the building of home-made alternative, indigenous technologies that are easily adaptable to solving the emerging technical and engineering problems that have bedevilled electricity generation and distribution in Nigeria.

Aletor said the partnership between the organisations would serve as ‎a major incentive to improve the desire of the school for global excellence in technological innovation and that that the second phase of the programme would focus on the “production of light equipment and accessories to effect minor routine repairs within the power sector.”

He also pointed out that it would not only provide additional sources of income for staff and source of internally generated revenue for the university, but would strengthen the facilities in the institution’s drive to pioneering research in alternative energy renewal in Nigeria and Africa.

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