SPEECH OF THE HON. MINISTER OF POWER, PROF. CHINEDU O. NEBO, CON, NPOM, AT THE 2ND GRADUATION CEREMONY OF THE NAPTIN GRADUATE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (NGSDP) IN ABUJA ON MONDAY, 1ST DAY OF DECEMBER 2014
It is with great pleasure that I join all the graduands today to celebrate the 2nd graduation ceremony of the NAPTIN Graduate Skills Development Programme (NGSDP).
- This occasion is significant to me in that it is also the second time running that I am privileged to witness a graduation under this skills development initiative.
- A graduation ceremony is a milestone in the life of every graduand as it marks the end of a formal knowledge and skills acquisition phase of their development and launches them into an opportunity phase where they will seek to exploit their new knowledge and skills to make a difference in the world around them. Graduands can look back with pride at their learning journey and hold their heads up in acknowledgement of their achievements. The graduands at today’s occasion are quality products whom, through the NAPTIN Graduate Skills Development Programme are presented our society for service to our dear nation.
- The dearth of technical manpower in the Power Sector has been one of the critical low points in our quest for a lasting solution to the many problems that plague the Sector. It becomes very heart-warming therefore to find that the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) has, with the active support of the Federal Government of Nigeria, taken the initiative to undertake a systematic restoration of the technical manpower required to support the Sector. Today marks another milestone in this regard.
- I am indeed very pleased to note that NAPTIN has continued to keep the promise of providing a pool of technical manpower from which the Nation’s Power Sector can draw. This is a very important aspect of our dual purpose redressing the many impacts of the many years of neglect of human capacity development and of placing the Power Sector on a sure pedestal for growth. I wish to state that we shall keep NAPTIN focused on its mandate of training and research in the Power Sector for the future of our dear Nation.
- Let me seize this opportunity to commend the partnership existing between the Institute and the utility companies especially in making available and accessible, their live networks for practical experience of the trainees. This has complemented the efforts which the Federal Government is making at producing ready-for-market graduates.. It has also greatly enhanced the capacity of NAPTIN to enrol more students resulting in significant growth in trainee population.
- The Ministry of Power has made significant progress in instituting and making operational a National Training Policy for the Power Sector One of the key thrusts of this policy is that it sets a standard for the training of technical manpower in the Power Sector, regardless of who the operators may be. This has the benefit of providing common grounds for access to quality technical manpower to operators in the Sector. As the impact of NAPTIN’s training becomes more entrenched in the Sector, it is our expectation that the mismatch between skills requirements and labour market needs will no longer be an issue in the Sector.
- In line with its belief in the effectiveness of Public-Private-Partnerships, Government is anxious to expose its efforts at technical capacity building to collaboration with the private sector. I therefore welcome all prospective investors to partner with NAPTIN in the huge task of producing skilled manpower for the Power Sector.
- Today’s graduation ceremony offers for us all an excellent opportunity to facilitate stakeholders’ collaboration on new approaches to our power supply challenges. Globally, there is an increasing challenge of supplying not just adequate energy, but also environment-friendly energy. The development suggests that new and innovative thinking must be employed. We must therefore turn to our training and learning institutions towards new opportunities based on Research and Development.
- I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the President of the Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, for his dogged determination to achieve a reform of the entire Power Sector. The Transformation Agenda of this administration which is already yielding good dividends will in no distant future translate to the more needed reliable power supply for the entire nation as we march towards the vision embodied in our mantra in the Ministry of Power – “No Nigerian left in darkness”.
- Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in a short while, we will be witnesses to the award of Certificates of Merit and Completion Certificates to the 2014 graduates of the NGSDP Programme. To the graduands, I say a very hearty Congratulation. I urge you to go out proudly as ambassadors of this Great Institute, and offer outstanding service to our Nation with the drive to make a difference. When this is done by you, the Nigerian society will soon recognise and appreciate the immense contributions of NAPTIN to the transformation of the Sector.
- In closing, let me say to all Power Sector stakeholders that it is important to recognize that the investment committed into the training of these young men and women can only be harvested through meaningful placements and use of their services. I believe that these young men and women are the future that we so much desire. I urge you to take them in and use them wisely.
Once more, I wish to congratulate all you graduands and your sponsors for all your efforts in achieving this significant milestone. it is you utilise the skills and competencies you have acquired to uplift yourselves, your families and also to transform the Nigerian Power Sector.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Prof. Chinedu Nebo, CON, NPOM
Hon. Minister of Power
1st December, 2014.