Interviews

Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resource of Bangladesh Government & Member of the Parliament

In the age of diminishing fossil fuels, how a young minister is aiming to ensure more power and energy to the consumers

Nasrul Hamid, the State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resource of Bangladesh Government and a Member of the Parliament has recently been nominated for the prestigious World HRD Congress (WHC) award for his visionary leadership. WHC, a Mumbai-based organization, has been providing awards to the persons and organizations, which make contributions in creating a platform for qualitative development. Hamid has been selected for the award for organizing the youths of Bangladesh and making a significant contribution to increasing their financial opportunities and will be conferred on 15 February 2018 at its 26th congregation.

Nasrul Hamid was born on 13 November 1964 in a respectable political family. His father Late Prof. Hamidur Rahman was a prominent figure in the liberation war and was a close associate of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Hamid’s entry politics is, thus, a continuation of the family legacy.

“I want to see more communication with the consumers from the operators’ side.  Under both public and private sector initiatives, new apartments are being built, and occupants in these houses are demanding for gas connection.”

Hamid completed his secondary and higher secondary education Dhaka Residential Model School and College respectively and was admitted to Dhaka University for studying Economics in 1983. After his graduation, he pursued the certificate course from John F. Kennedy School of Harvard University, USA, and entitled “Leaders in Development Managing Change in Dynamic World.”

After assuming the office of State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, he introduced some changes, which revolutionized the way the ministry was performing. At present, the investment flow of the entire department is about $30 billion, and another $50 billion is in the pipeline in power and energy sectors.

Under his dynamic leadership, system losses have dropped significantly; currently, almost there is no load shedding. 90% of the populations are having access to electricity. Not only in the urban area, but extensive coverage is also in the rural areas. The Rural Electrification Board (REB) is providing connections to more than 400,000 households every month. Megaprojects have been undertaken to achieve the target of generating 24,000 MW by 2024 and 60,000 MW by 2041. Transmission and distribution projects are also being implemented to ensure reliable electricity and customer satisfaction.

The source of alternative energy for the country’s energy security, LNG for the industry, LPG for household, the second unit for ERL, oil import through single point mooring, Dhaka-Chittagong pipeline and the multi-client survey, offshore exploration, etc. are moving forward in full swing.

Hamid took an unprecedented step to increase regional cooperation. During his tenure, electricity import accelerated from India; import of diesel from Numaligarh through a pipeline is almost in the final stage. Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) hydroelectric sharing network has been initiated. It is expected that the country will be connected with International Gas Grid Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI). His contribution to finalizing the SAARC Framework was also outstanding. He keeps a commendable contribution in the field of Renewable Energy, Solar Home System, Solar Roof Top, etc.

An iconic young politician, Nasrul Hamid believes that using the demographic dividend; we can achieve our vision 2041 to become a developed country. That is why he engaged himself to create suitable platforms for developing youngsters by exploring their talents. He deems that creating opportunity, giving training and encouragement can lead to a revolution in the self-development of the youth.

Bangladesh is developing very fast. So the requirement of energy security is a prime need for the country. This is why Nasrul Hamid brought changes in the management in his office and formed a team that is capable of understanding his vision and delivers accordingly. He captured the attention of people across the globe and indeed envisages the intended meaning of the adage human being is as large as his or her dream.

Regarding the prospects of our energy sector, Hamid says that the significant possibility and line of opportunities in the industry of power and energy should not be doubted. Bangladesh has a market of four crore people who directly can use the LPG, not only in the city but also in the remote villages. “We are not looking for individual households. Instead, we are looking for a community system supply. The community will be formed through 100 villages or at the micro level, with 100 houses. The idea is to provide community wise central supply for better coverage. It is not just selling one cylinder. I want to look at a massive supply of autogas and others.”

According to him, the use of LPG is increasing very fast, but one must not forget that an excellent marketing capacity is also needed to make it more popular. “More advertisement in the media will inform people about the offerings from various LPG companies.” Pointing at the notion that using LPG will take a toll on the expenditure for the user, he suggests the service providers offer competitive pricing that can ensure a better customer base.

Hamid reminds us of the fact that the storage of our natural gas is depleting. “This is why the government is working with a goal to make LPG available to 70% people of the country within three years,” he states.

He informs that there are fifty companies, which have been issued licenses as the ministry wanted to ensure seamless supply across the country. “I want to see more communication with the consumers from the operators’ side. Under both public and private sector initiatives, new apartments are being built, and occupants in these houses are demanding for gas connection.” This shows the prospects of LPG in urban areas. In this regard, he mentioned about the importance of having an LPG terminal. “We need the uninterrupted supply of gas and reasonable price for gas. The operators have the responsibility to fix a reasonable price, and that shall be followed,” he added.

Remarkable steps The State Minister has taken several exciting initiatives, which are noteworthy.

POWER & ENERGY HACKATHON:
To ensure the Energy safety by utilizing new innovative ideas and techniques of the youth, “Power and Energy Hackathon 2017” has been organized. From this competition, Bangladesh gets a green innovating solution on energy safety on the issue of ensuring energy efficient household, harnessing marine energy, and power and energy crisis in the industry sector, replacing biomass cookstoves, implementing smart grid technology, solution for green and renewable energy, affordable access to electricity, etc.

IDEA COMPETITION:
A general idea can bring a tremendous change that can contribute in a massive way develop a country. Keeping that in mind, the Ministry had organized a competition named “Ek Idea tey Bazimat” to engage young, meritorious students. The participants in this contest were very excited and thankful to Hamid for taking such an innovative step for them.

INTERNSHIP:
Initiatives have been taken to award internship for 500 students in different government and non-government entities of the Ministry to introduce them in real life work. 100 students have already been benefited under that initiative, while 200 other such internships are in the pipeline.

MoU BETWEEN ESAB AND EPRC:
Bangladesh Energy & Power Research Council (EPRC) and Engineering Students’ Association of Bangladesh (ESAB) have signed a MoU for collaborating with each other’s network and resources to promote research on energy and power as well as implement the outcomes with the help of the young, energetic engineers and researchers. EPRC will provide necessary funds, assistance for research and training for respective engineers.

SCHOLARSHIP
Nasrul Hamid Foundation provides scholarship for 273 students from 14 schools in Keraniganj on January 29, 2018

ASSISTANCE FOR HELPLESS AND NEEDY STUDENTS
Hamid is giving moral and financial support to dependent and needy students.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT
He is encouraging young people to become an entrepreneur or to be self-employed in fisheries farming, poultry farming, dairy farming, computer training or similar kind of programs that ensure a steady income. He has also played a substantial role in developing entrepreneurship in his locality.

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