Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) has been endorsed by the Association of Power Utilities in Africa (APUA) as a priority centre for training of workers in Africa’s power industry.

By APUA’s endorsement, NAPTIN has also been admitted as a member of the African Network of Excellence in Electricity (ANCEE), and as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in training for the power sector in Africa, be eligible to tap into a €13 million training fund set aside by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and French Development Bank for capacity development of power firms in African countries.

Currently, ANCEE has only eight training centres across Africa, including NAPTIN which is the only training institute from West Africa.

Following an assessment process by APUA, NAPTIN’s training centres and its faculties were pre-qualified and its trainers made to share their methodology of training delivery to the satisfaction of the association at a workshop in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

As a member of ANCEE, NAPTIN shall have the benefit of sharing knowledge and best practices with other training CoE in Africa, expand its course offerings; attract foreign direct investment through training patronage from other African countries; upgrade its training facility, and increase the quality of its training in harmony with international best practice standards expected from all CoEs.

Speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the development, the Director General of NAPTIN, Mr. Bolaji Nagode, explained that some of the immediate benefits of the rating by APUA was a request from APUA for it to design selected training programmes for some 42 staff of the utility companies in Ghana, as well as an opportunity for NAPTIN to select one if its staff to facilitate a training for the power utility company of Mali (Energie Du Mali – EDM).

“This admission as a Centre of Excellence didn’t come as a gift, it is like a reward for the number of years and efforts we had put in to get us to this level in terms of infrastructural development. We have world class state of the art equipment in all the various programmes for capacity development in the power sector, we equally have demonstration plants and we will definitely sustain standards because that is the basis of our election as a Centre of Excellence in the first place,” Nagode explained.

Speaking on what NAPTIN would benefit from its validation as a CoE in power training, Nagode stated: “This is epoch making because NAPTIN is moving into the next level of its mandate in the power sector. We have the opportunity to train workers in power utility companies of other African countries, and this will bring in lots of opportunities for us and Nigeria”.

“There is no doubt we will also get foreign exchange in terms of payments that would be made to us for selling our services. APUA will sponsor and pay for this. We have programmes that will target all African countries with standard syllabus and well trained faculty,” Nagode added.