FG certifies 285 engineers for power sector

The Federal Government on Monday issued certificates to 285 engineers to help boost power generation, transmission and distribution across the country.

It said the engineers would help bridge the technical manpower gap in the sector as the industry was largely characterised by weak and dying human capital.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who issued the certificates to the engineers during the second graduation ceremony of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria Graduate Skills Development Programme in Abuja, said many graduate engineers lacked the requisite engineering skills to function in the sector.

“So this programme will ensure that those who graduate as engineers are indeed engineers and are prepared for the industry. This is because for 16 years, neither the National Electric Power Authority nor the Power Holding Company of Nigeria employed a single engineer.

“This, of course, led to the lack of adequate technical manpower in the sector, hence the need for adequately trained engineers to fill these positions,” he said.

The Director-General, NAPTIN, Mr. Reuben Okeke, said the 2013/2014 NGSDP commenced on November 14, 2013 with 310 trainees.

He stated that 224 of them were sponsored by their state governments while the remaining 86 were on self sponsorship.

Okeke said, “Today’s graduation will witness the certification of 285 engineers, made up of 211 electrical/electronic and 74 mechanical engineers.

“It is important to state here that these young engineers have gone through rigorous training processes that took them through a nine-month practical hands-on experience in the three sub-sectors of generation, transmission and distribution of the electricity value-chain in various power sector companies.”

He noted that during the last 2012/2013 batch, nine state governments sponsored trainees from their states while in 2013/2014, 14 states were involved.

Okeke explained that with the privatisation of major power sector components, it was important for the nation and NAPTIN in particular to see that assets were not just handed over but were handed over to trained professionals capable of managing the assets efficiently.

He said the Federal Government through the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme was sponsoring 220 fresh engineers in the 2014/2015 round of the NGSDP which commenced in April 2014.

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