Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The federal government has begun the training of at least 500 individuals under the Youths Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Training (YESAT) as part of the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project (MHEPP) local content initiative.
The financing arrangement for the $5.8 billion project indicates that while China’s Export-Import Bank will provide 85 per cent of the resources, the federal government will cater for 15 per cent of the joint project.
Minister of Power Mr. Sale Mamman, who officially flagged off the training programme in Taraba State at the weekend, described it as a joint effort between the ministry and the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).
He added that the programme will address the MHEPP’s manpower development needs and adequately prepare host communities and the entire state to derive maximum benefits from the project.
The minister said that YESAT was designed to train and empower 500 youths from each state of the federation, beginning with Taraba.
“The training shall be under five core courses namely, electrical house wiring, ICT essentials, catering management, masonry, bricklaying and plumbing as well as pipe-lifting for plants and buildings.
“The training shall be carried out in four batches of 125 participants each. The selection into the four batches of training will be based strictly on merit and distributed among the local government areas of the state,” he said.
Mamman explained that the application process will be done online and shall be opened for three weeks for applications while participants for each training will select the courses of their choice.
According to him, the first batch of training is scheduled to start from January to February, 2021.
Governor of Taraba, Mr Darius Ishaku, in his goodwill message, presented by his deputy, Mr Haruna Manu, lauded the federal government’s commitment to the implementation of the 3050 KW Mambilla hydroelectric power project.
He described the training as significant to human capital development in readiness for the host communities to benefit from the electricity project, but lamented the intake of 500 youths as inadequate for the host communities.
He advised the minister to consider more youths from Sardauna and Kurmi local governments, for better representation, being the hosts of the project.
In his goodwill message at the inauguration, Chairman of the Host Community Development Association (HCDA), Mr Bobboi Kaigama, assured the government of the cooperation and support of host communities to ensure its success.
Meanwhile, speaking in Mubi, Adamawa State, during the inauguration of solar Nigeria power projects, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Department for International Development (DFID) with oversight provided by the Ministry of Power, Mamman stated that the new use of distributed power with locally available resources such as solar demonstrates the government’s commitment to power supply in the country.
“As at today, at least more than 40 new mini-grid projects have been commissioned across the country providing a reliable power supply to over 40,000 people in off-grid areas.
“These projects are mostly developed through public-private partnership, confirming the confidence of the private sector. The ministry will also, provide five million households with solar home systems under Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), which is aimed at increasing electricity access and reducing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
In his speech, Governor of Adamawa State, Mr Umar Fintiri, lauded the federal government and its partners for all the support and cooperation given to the state, describing the projects as highly beneficial to his people.
Some of the solar projects inaugurated include: 78kW in Maiha Cottage Hospital, 78kW in Gulak Cottage Hospital, 104kW in Garkida Hospital, 104kW in Michika General Hospital, 104kW in Mubi General Hospital, 208kW in College of Health Technology, Mubi, 36kW in Michika Maternity Hospital and 36kW in PHC Ga’anda.