As part of the federal government’s steps to make electricity supply available nationwide, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) is sending 60 engineers to China for training on how to fast-rack mass production of transformers for consumers.
The shortlisted engineers will later run the proposed Transformer Manufacturing Line and High Voltage Testing Laboratory, which is located in Power Equipment and Electrical Machinery Development Institute (PEEMADI) in Okene.
The Executive Vice-Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, said the agency has been producing transformers manually and using traditional technology but will now want to learn the modern form of transformer production using computers.
He said the other component of the training is high voltage testing which is of great benefit. He said Nigeria will no longer take samples of faulty transformers abroad for analysis and information.
Haruna made these disclosures yesterday in Abuja at the orientation training programme for the engineers before their departure to China.
He said with the facility the power industry and independent power producers can go to the facility to ascertain their situation without having to pay heavily for testing and certification abroad.
He said: “Already in the power equipment and electrical development institute of NASENI, we are producing transformers manually and using traditional technology but the world has gone advanced. We are just going to learn the modern way of using computer for designing and manufacturing.
“It is not just China that supplies transformers to Nigeria, transformers used in Nigeria come from all countries so we don’t have national standard.
“If we learn the processes of design and production we won’t continue producing their own model, we will design and produce our own Nigerian standard and models. The other component of this training is high voltage testing technology.
“There is no successful power industry without high voltage testing laboratory. Currently, with a lot of faults happening in our power system we will have to take samples abroad for analysis and information. Now this facility will be used to help the power industry and the independent power producers to ascertain their situation without having to pay heavily for testing and certification abroad.
“Already the Standards Organisation of Nigeria comes to us for certain services because of competence and laboratory facilities “By the time we have this laboratory; it is not just companies in Nigeria that will be coming to us for services but neighboring countries.
“The package of the project is not just training; the trainees will come back and help install the infrastructure.”
The package is provision of manufacturing facilities and training of capable hands to operate the facilities. They will install the facilities and run it
“The trainees with excellent performance have the opportunity to acquire postgraduate specifications such as postgraduate diploma, masters and any degree depending on the level because the training organisations are in good cooperation and working relationship with Chinese National Technical University where this training is taking place.
“The syllabus of the training is put together by the factory, university and Nigeria because we know what we need.”
On his part, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Bitrus Nabasu said the China Great Wall is providing 85 per cent of funding, leaving Nigeria with just 15 per cent.
He said Mr. President said he wants to lift one million Nigerians out of poverty and this is the step.
He added: “For this programme, out of 100 per cent, Nigeria is making just 15 per cent contribution and China Great Wall is contributing 85 per cent for the funding which is a great contribution considering the fact that a country wants to see that we develop by giving 85 per cent of what we would have done ourselves.
“We want to commend them for this, we want to count them as the only country that is looking unto Nigeria as a partner, friend and want us to reach the level they are.
“The Intention of the federal government is clear. We have been talking of local content and once we don’t produce ourselves we keep on importing and it depletes our foreign reserves.
“The moment we begin producing transformers we will consume what we have produced and importation will be reduced thereby improving the economy and by that we will create jobs and create wealth which will be good for
“We want to do away with poverty just like Mr. President said on Democracy Day that he wants to lift over a million Nigerians out of poverty and this is a step towards the target.”