The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has emphasized that the target of 10,000MW by 2019 will not be realized except skill man-power needs are addressed in the sector, adding that design, building of plant, its operation and maintenance can only be carried out by key skilled manpower.
So, the role of National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), in the realization of the noble directive of Government cannot be over-emphasized, he therefore call on the newly graduating trainees under its Graduate Skills Development Programme (NGSDP), to brace up to this challenge by developing positive attitude that would enable them to be creative in solving the myriad of problems responsible for the lack of access to power by large majority of Nigerians.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary (Power), Mr. Louis Edozien, the Minister while reacting to the charge to Government by the Key-Note Speech as delivered by Professor Omotayo Fahinlede, tagged “Short Term Strategies for Electricity Supply”, he said there will soon be executive actions on issues around Renewable energy, the place of coal in Nigeria’s quest for robust energy mix, embedded generation, need for a workable training policy for NAPTIN and indeed the quest for making NAPTIN a citadel of quality learning with its proposed Post-graduate Degree programmes.
Earlier, in his address the Director General, Engr. Rueben Okeke, of the NAPTIN had requested the Minister to help fast-track plan to incorporate training of lower cadre personnels, similar to the now rested National Power Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPSAS) in the sector, to complement the trained engineers that are primarily focused by the Institute.
He also requested for extra budgetary funding from Government in a consistent manner that will see in 10 years the mission of transforming our training modules to match trainings in line with global best practice.
He promised that NAPTIN under his watch will key into the Government change agenda, as it will soon benefit for intervention loan package of 15 million Euros from donor agencies and nations that will enable it, to be transformed into a hub for training of workers in power utilities in the sub-region.
In the Key-Note address which was delivered by the Dean of Engineering Faculty, University of Lagos, Prof. Omotayo Fahinlede, said that Nigeria rather than look inwards for solving its electricity access problems preferred to look outside the Nigerian shores.
He therefore recommended that rather than us focusing on renewable energy sources like wind, solar and bio-mass, he will rather advice that we look in the direction of coal, while abundant gas resources are also harnessed aggressively and thus link gas utilization to the areas on the Niger Delta Region, reasoning that the logic behind vandalism of pipe- lines carrying gas is that it would be utilized in faraway areas and not in the region where it is produced.
Other stakeholders, like the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Onwuka, while delivering a good will message promised the assistance of the National Universities Commission (NUC), in the actualization of the dream to transform NAPTIN to a Post-graduate Institution, which he said is consistent with the trust of this administration which is aimed at revamping technical education in Nigeria.
He said, in order to give vent to Government’s plan for purpose driven, sound, technological oriented education; Government intends to put an end to the dichotomy between Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), graduates.
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