NAPTIN, NSE to expand training capacity in power sector

Etisalat

NIGERIA is expanding its local capacity to train technical workforce for the power sector, while aiming to become a regional hub for required expertise in electric power drive.

   To achieve this, the nation is equipping its power training centres with state of the art simulators and training equipment, including electricity laboratories.

 Besides, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) announced a collaboration to check quackery in the power sector.

   Similarly, henceforth, before any utility wants to import any skilled manpower into the country, it must secure a letter of no objection from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). 

 The idea, NAPTIN explained is to promote local skills above their foreign counterpart.

   At a meeting with the management team of the NSE held in Abuja, the Director General of NAPTIN, Reuben Okeke, announced that the Germany government had built a 25 kilowatts power plant for the training of Nigerian engineers in renewable energy. The training plant, he said, is stationed at the Kainji Power Plant, Niger State and would be commissioned by the Minister of Power next week.

  He also announced that Nigeria had acquired a unique 450 mega watts combined circle simulator stationed at the Afam Power Plant, River States to training mechanical and electrical engineers from Nigeria and other African countries.

  Okeke said: “We have as well acquired a 450 mega watts combined circle simulator which has just been built at Afam Power Plant for training of all the mechanical engineers and electrical engineers that work in the power stations. It is a complete simulator where everything concerning any power station up to 400 megawatts is learnt.  All kinds of force can be simulated at that facility. The operation of a power station, including the turbines and the compressors can be done in that place. It is going to be a hub.

  “We are not only looking for Nigerians to train, we are looking beyond the shores of Nigeria. That simulator, which we have just acquired, is a huge asset for us.”

  On the new facility at Kainji, he noted:  “NAPTIN is expanding. We are bringing in many training aide equipment that would help us improve training in the sector. The Minister of Power will be going to Kainji next week to commission a power plant for teaching and learning, for renewable energy. It is a 25 kilowatts power plant for renewable energy: three wind turbines of 5 kilowatts each, and 10.5 kilowatts of solar PV. It is going to be operated as a hybrid.

   “Renewable energy is one of the things that the federal government has decided for rural access ‘Operation Light Up Nigeria’, and we have to have, as well as establish where those who will operate, manage and maintain these facilities will be trained.”

   He added: “The Kainiji facility was built for us by the German government through GIZ, who are there with us to ensure that the renewable energy drive is accomplished.  We are as well getting a complete electrical training laboratory in Kano. We currently have about 3-4 of our instructors in Italy to master how to use this to teach. Nigeria has huge potentials as far as human resource is concerned.  We cannot go anywhere to import cables. 

   “NAPTIN has to be positioned in such a way as to satisfy the market. That is why it is very good that this meeting with NSE is essential to ensure sound manpower development in the power sector.”

  On the collaboration with NSE, he stressed that both parties had entered a pact towards ensuring that engineers in the power sector go through rigorous tests and examination.

  He explained:  “We signed a memorandum of understanding last year for NAPTIN and NSE to make sure that young engineers in the power sector are well trained and well evaluated. No matter the investment the federal government or any government makes in any endeavour, particularly in the power sector, without the human capital, without the workforce, well trained and capable workforce to maintain the infrastructure, it will not work.



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