ERA, Petroleum Institute sign MoU to increase number of certified electricians

Uganda Petroleum Institute Principal, Mr Bernard Ongodia, and Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) CEO Eng. Ziria Waako Tibalwa display the signed MoUs as ERA's legal officer Counsel Harold Obiga looks on (Photo/Handout)

Kampala, (UG): Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) and the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at increasing the number of Certified Electricians in Uganda and enhancing professionalism.

The signing of the MoU between the two institutions happened on Thursday, December 14, at ERA headquarters in Lugogo, Industrial Area.

ERA Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako speaking after the signing of the MOU said under this new arrangement, the Authority hopes to raise the number of certified wiremen to at least 5000 by the end of the year 2024 under this arrangement.

Currently, the number of certified personnel stands at 3411 in the whole country, and Eng Waako says the signed MoU will enhance cooperation and partnership to ensure inter-sectoral coherence and collaboration in their respective functions.

The MoU will among other things also ensure that there is sensitization of all electricians trained by UPIK; ensure that all electricians fit to be awarded installation permits are given necessary information and support.

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This will involve conducting interviews of all applicants and issuance of permits at all levels of eligibility; ERA participating in the review of policies; projects and programs of UPIK that fall under ERA’s mandate and sharing information with UPIK on ERA’s collaborative activities, as well as sharing with UPIK relevant correspondences between ERA and its licensed companies concerning electrical installations in the country.

Eng. Ziria highlighted that ERA will for example support the placement of UPIK students for industrial training and acquisition of decommissioned or new equipment like generators for training purposes.

“Graduates from UPIK will be certified by ERA so that they can qualify for the job market” Ms Waako said.

She added that Kamyuufus (uncertified electricians) are causing great damage to the economy and thus increasing the number of certified personnel will help in overcoming them who are even cited in several cases of electricity vandalism in the country.

“These are saboteurs. These people hate development. Their (illegal) work leads to fatalities and loss of property. They also participate in vandalism of the electricity infrastructure. The cost they cause to the economy and people is enormous” she said.

Eng Waako urged the certified wire persons to act with a high degree of professionalism to bring trust to the public about their work to avoid being blamed for poor wiring in cases of fire breakouts.

“We (now) don’t want them to see a fire and the first pointer is on electricity. We want to raise the number of electricians especially class C and D from the current 3411 to 5000 by the end of next year” she said.

On his part, Mr Bernard Ongodia, the Principal of UPIK commended ERA for its commitment to ensuring that as a country, we get the right skills in the energy sector.

Mr Ongodia revealed that come April next year, UPIK is going to also train 200 production technicians for Total Energies and all these will have to be certified by ERA to be able to compete not only locally but also internationally.

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He pledged that as the institute, they undertake to play its role in the MoU and ensure that people benefit from this collaboration.

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