The Federal Government has launched an initiative that will see Nigeria emerge as a choice training centre for power sector personnel in sub-Sahara Africa within the next three years.
It will also take care of the country’s manpower need in her emerging power sector.
Expected to provide top-quality training in planning and management of power systems, the initiative was yesterday, set in motion with a ceremonial foundation laying of the N15 billion permanent site of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) in Abuja, by the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Ishaku.
The facility is sited on a 106,000 square metres of land and would upon its completion contain schools of power generation, transmission and distribution, demonstration grounds, school of house wiring, headquarter building for NAPTIN and students living area.
It is designed to accommodate up to 1,500 students (900 trainees and 600 professionals) at once for training in various aspects of power management, it will also have within it a 2,000-capacity conference auditorium, 103 housing units of different models, 140-rooms hotel to accommodate specialised training needs and persons, clinics and sports halls as well as a school for non-technical training.
With overall projected construction duration of three years subject to availability of funds, the first phase of the project which is the construction of NAPTIN’s corporate headquarters will cost about N1.5 billion; it will however be ready for commissioning in 60 weeks.
In his speech at the official ground-breaking ceremony, Ishaku stated that the initiative is in line with Nigeria’s power sector reform and as contained in President Goodluck Jonathan’s roadmap to power sector reform.
He noted that NAPTIN was setup to take care of existing challenges of manpower development in the power sector.
The minister said: “Over 35 per cent of PHCN staff are going to retire from active service in the sector in the next two years and we are anticipating an explosion of opportunities in the power sector, I do hope that NAPTIN will go all the way to conduct credible and quality structural trainings for young power engineers that will come with reform in the power sector.
“We are going to implement this project in stages because government operate with budget and once the budget is given we will continue to implement until we achieve its overall objective, there is nothing holding us back because this is an institution that can be called a university of electrician or a university of training of people in the power sector.”
Also in his remarks, the Director General of NAPTIN, Mr. Reuben Okeke, explained that the project was planned to make Nigeria emerge as a one-stop provider of training modules and facilities in the power sector across Africa, adding that the centre will compliment Nigeria’s power sector reform exercise.
“This multi-purpose training facility will be on hand to support a wide range of training courses which will enhance, facilitate and indeed encourage diverse exchanges and understanding, all of which are so critical to our nation’s sustained development.
The permanent site, conceived as a centre of excellence will offer facilities for lecture, presentations, seminars and conferences relating to the power sector development areas of activity. It will also host symposia and will serve to provide a research centre for incursions and investigations into various aspects of power engineering practice,” Okeke said.