ANED CODIFOR Project, is a tripartite project comprising of The French Development Agency in Nigeria (AFD) as the funder, the Cooperation, Industrial development and Training (CODIFOR) as technical partner and Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) as the beneficiary on behalf of Nigerian Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

The Project with a life span of thirty (30) months was launched in July 2016 but officially started in January 2017 with the project closure scheduled for June 2019.

The Project Coordinators; Rotimi Adebari (ANED) and Agathe Gondinet (CODIFOR) described the end of the partnership as a new beginning for ANED and Nigerian electricity distribution companies. 

The partnership between the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) and CODIFOR was set up with the primary purpose of empowering DisCos chiefs and heads of human resources to build capacity and performance in Nigerian electricity distribution sub-sector.

ANED’s Chief Executive Officer welcoming participants

Welcoming participants to the Project’s closing ceremony; ANED’s Chief Executive Officer, Azu Obiaya, represented by the organisation’s Executive Director, Barrister Sunday Oduntan expressed ANED’s gratitude to French Development Agency (AFD) for funding the capacity development project for Nigerian electricity distribution companies and to CODIFOR for contributing their technical expertise. French Development Agency was represented by Dr Adesoji Ademola – The Senior Project Manager Energy and Transport while Olivier Dambrine, the Director of CODIFOR was represented by Agathe Gondinet.

Barrister Sunday Oduntan expressed satisfaction that the DisCos human resources personnel today are better equipped in their capacity development than they were 3 years ago, and that the quarterly capacity development workshop organised by the project has been very successful and impactful. He announced that ANED executive management has made the decision that the quarterly workshop will be sustained.

Azu Obiaya

Project Coordinators described ANED CODIFOR Project as a journey…

The project coordinators; Rotimi Adebari and Agathe Gondinet in their presentation titled; ‘the journey..’ disclosed that in the past two and half years, the project trained 249 human resources personnel across the eleven electricity distribution companies in the following thematic areas:

  1.  Performance Management
  2. Conducting Training Needs Assessment and Designing an Effective Training Plan
  3. Strategic HR and Business Partnering
  4. HR as Change Driver
  5. Promoting Gender Equality
  6. Effective Talent Employee Retention Strategies
  7. ANED Certification System: Framework, Methodology and Planning
  8. Myriad of Ideas for dealing with DisCos Identified Issues
  9. Succession Planning Strategies

Another benefit of the project to Nigerian electricity distribution companies is the partnership with Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA) and African Network of Centers of Excellence in Electricity (ANCEE). The partnership resulted into award of 300 scholarship opportunities to develop human capacity of DisCos technical, commercial and support services staff at APUA’s centers of excellence in electricity at Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC), National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) and Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre, Zambia (KGRTC)

Rotimi Adebari & Agathe Gondinet

CODIFOR’s Director expressed satisfaction working with ANED

Speaking at the closing ceremony; Olivier Dambrine, Director CODIFOR, represented by Agathe Gondinet expressed satisfaction working with ANED and particularly the new relationship between ANED and APUA with the hope that the partnership will create growing opportunities for the DisCos.

Olivier spoke further on the certifications that ANED has been able to design; he said the certification will upgrade the skills, safety and performance of the DISCOS linesworkers and commercial officers. ANED certifications, according to him, will have a direct impact on the reduction of technical and non-technical losses in the industry. CODIFOR as a business organization in France has been using certifications for 50 years to attract the best talents into the industry and create common standards. “Our certifications are key in the reputation of our industry in France and abroad. We are sure that ANED certifications will send the same signal of professionalism, transparency and excellence across Nigeria” said Olivier.

Olivier Dambrine

ANED’s Director of Research and Advocacy expressed appreciation to NAPTIN and NBTE

Barrister Sunday Oduntan expressed ANED’s appreciation to National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for their partnership in developing the National Occupational Standard (NOS). He goes on to call on certification partners (Dr M.A. Kazaure, Executive Secretary of NBTE and Mr Ahmed Nagode, DG of NAPTIN) not to relent with their support for this noble initiative until the NOS is validated by the Sector Skills Council (stakeholders) and ANED as certifying body is approved by NBTE. The certification of Linesworkers and Commercial Officers according to him will improve the sub-sector’s efficiency, effectiveness and safety which in the long run will play a part in the reduction of the DisCos ATC&C. He promised that ANED will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to ensure the certification initiative becomes a reality.

Barrister Sunday Oduntan

AFD’s Senior Project Manager Energy and Transport commended ANED and CODIFOR

Dr Adesoji Ademola, representing AFD country Director commended ANED and CODIFOR for successful implementation of the project and that his agency is proud to play a part in the capacity building of DisCos workforce with an intention of improving the DisCos performance and productivity. He used the opportunity to compliment the partnership between ANED and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).

Dr. Adesoji Ademola

Project Coordinators rolled out project achievements

The project coordinators (Rotimi Adebari and Agathe Gondinet), described working with DisCos chiefs and heads of human resources as a fulfilling experience with lots of lessons learnt. Among the interesting things they discovered is that every DisCo has their area of unique strengths, not precluding the fact that they equally have their weaknesses. It was on the back of this discovery that the idea of “what has worked well for us” initiative was introduced at the quarterly capacity building trainings and workshops. The initiative provided the host DisCos the opportunity to share an aspect of their operations that has worked well with the visiting DisCos. This idea of shared knowledge invariably goes on to become example of best practice in the sector.

Some of the outlined tremendous achievements of the project includes the following:

  1. Identification of the sector’s human resources priorities
  2. Benchmarking human resources practices with best practices in France
  3. Discovered world class training centres for power sector; Schneider and Electricite de France (EDF)
  4. Discovering new technologies of smart grid and smart metering and their impacts on human resources
  5. Designed tools for Training Needs Assessment (TNA)
  6. Implemented TNA tools with DisCos
  7. Produced Training Needs Assessment (TNA) Report
  8. Identified 14 critical job roles that has direct impact on the DisCos performance in (Technical, Commercial and Support Services)
  9. Collated the DisCos identified training needs for linesworkers, cable jointers, protection control and metering (PC&M), distribution service officers (DSO), network planner, electrical fitter, billing officer, customer service officer, key account management officer, energy sales representative, legal and regulatory officer, account/finance officer, health safety environment management (HSE), talent management, information technology and corporate communication.
  10. Organising quarterly workshops and trainings for Discos chiefs and heads of human resources leading to training of 249 human resources personnel across the eleven electricity distribution companies.
  11. Create a digital platform to support learning and communication
  12. Create attractive partnerships with training facilities, including NAPTIN
  13. Mapping of existing training providers for the sector; Schneider, Siemens, Gil Training Institute, Energy Training Centre (ETC)
  14. International partnership with APUA & ANCEE leading to award of 300 scholarship opportunities for DisCos technical, commercial and support services staff
  15. Developed sector specific certifications for (Lineworkers and Commercial Officers)

Takeaways from ANED CODIFOR Project

DisCos chiefs and heads of human resources described their project takeaways as follows:

  1. Sector training of HR managers during the quarterly meetings
  2. Sector salary benchmark
  3. Quarterly chiefs and heads of HR meetings
  4. ANED certification project
  5. Training needs assessment (TNA)
  6. Benchmark trip to France
  7. Team bonding activities
  8. Gender equality workshop
  9. Strategic HR and business partnering
  10. The “what has worked well for us” presentations
  11. Skills gap analysis for critical job roles in the DisCos
  12. Bulb exchange project of PHED
  13. Culture change management
  14. Employee Retention Strategy
  15. Importance of work-life balance
  16. Effective performance evaluation and management
  17. On the job evaluation
  18. The knowledge of potential opportunities for human capacity development – APUA/ANCEE & NAPTIN
  19. Support from ANED to get subsidised quality trainings from vendors: NAPTIN, Energy Training Centre (ETC) and Gil Training Institute
  20. Development of National Occupational Standards (NOS) for linesworkers and commercial officers
  21. Succession planning strategy

What next after ANED CODIFOR Project?

The DisCos chiefs and heads of human resources would want to see the following activities to continue after the project:

  1. The quarterly DisCos HR capacity and performance empowering activities
  2. Coordinated approach to solving sector specific challenges
  3. ANED should source for project sponsors to continue with assistance similar to the one offered by AFD and CODIFOR
  4. ANED certification should be driven to a conclusive end
  5. Benchmark industry data (workforce, salary, welfare etc)
  6. Common HR purse/budget to assist with the planning of events. This will ensure there is a standard and management do not use the cost as an excuse not to participate
  7. Proactive drive for gender equality and inclusion in the industry should be sustained
  8. Collaboration with APUA/ANCEE
  9. Periodic meetings of MDCEOs to be on the same page with ANED initiatives on different platforms
  10. Approach donor agencies to fund some of ANED’s projects and initiatives for the DisCos
  11. ANED should develop a forum/platform that brings together HR and other functions like commercial, technical, legal etc.
  12. ANED CODIFOR HR Project should be made to evolve to handling/addressing other bigger challenges.

Awards of Certificates & Plaques

While rounding up the project, certificates were presented to 249 DisCos human resources professionals. Award of appreciation plaques were presented to distribution companies for hosting capacity development workshop with a total commitment to the principle that capacity building is fundamental and critical to an organisation’s performance. The DisCos chiefs and heads of human resources were also presented with plaques in recognition of their enthusiastic and unrelenting support of ANED CODIFOR Project. A thank you plaque was awarded to Dr Adesoji Ademola (AFD) for his unflinching support of the project and his strategic inputs on Nigerian electricity sector and its evolution. The final award goes to Agathe Gondinet for the persistent effort and dedication she put into developing the DisCos capacity building initiatives.

Closing Remarks

Uday Mishra, the Chief Executive Officer for Jos Electricity Distribution Company described ANED CODIFOR Project as one of the best things to have happened to Nigerian Electricity Distribution Sector. He commended the efforts and dedication of the project coordinators (Rotimi and Agathe) for a job well done. He called on ANED to ensure the project initiatives are made to continue and that efforts should be made to invite donor agencies to fund the DisCos capacity development initiatives. Capacity building according to him is the key to any organisation’s improved performance and productivity.

Uday Mishra

The project’s closing ceremony was held at Rockview Royal Hotels, Abuja and attended by MDCEOs, DisCos chiefs and heads of human resources, NAPTIN-AFD Project Implementation Unit, Intec, USAID, AFD and European Union.

Closing Dinner

A closing dinner later followed where participants and project partners cut a cake to celebrate the success of the project.

Rotimi Adebari

Agathe Gondinet

Project Coordinators