……Graduates 182 under its Skill Development Programme

        The Minister of State, Power, Hon. Mohammed Wakil has reiterated that Government conceived the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN)’s Graduate Skills Development Programme (NGSDP), as an interventionist approach to solving critical deficiency in professional technical manpower in the Power Sector.

        Speaking at the Graduation Ceremony, in Abuja, Hon. Wakil said this cohort of 182 graduands are fortunate to be the 1st Batch of SURE-P/TVET sponsored graduate level engineers, after their completion of 12-month skills development programme in the 3 -tier of electricity value chain – Generation, Transmission and Distribution.

        He said the obvious shortage of technical manpower has been one of the critical low points visibly bedeviling the sector, which has negatively imparted on the nation’s quest for improved access to power.

        This is a systematic restoration initiative that will rescue the sector from technical manpower deficiency,” your graduation today is a testimony that you have fulfilled your side of the partnership”. He thus urged them to put in proper use the skills they have acquired.

        “And as you join the army of professionals, the onus on you is to restore honour and hope to our nation” by contributing your quota in Nigeria’s plan to continually increase the level of electricity available to our people, towards a target of 25,000MW by the year 2020.

        The Permanent Secretary, Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said that if Nigeria must be where we are supposed to be, we must get it right in the power sector, he thus commended Mr. President for taking the bull by the horn, as it has handed over the Power to the private sector.

        A development that has reinforced the determination of Government to build a robust manpower capacity building initiative that would address long years of manpower neglect.  He said that over 3,000 engineers have been engaged since take-over, he therefore enjoyed the graduands to take advantage of the enormous opportunities existing in the sector, insisting that many of the new owners will require the services of well skilled engineers now and years to come.

        He said even, Government will engage engineers for Alaoji Power Plant, in Abia State, that is being commissioned today, and indeed up-coming National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plants already slated for commissioning.

        Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Philip Aduda, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for steaming the tide in the lull that characterized the electricity sector by opening it up for massive injection of fund to the sector from both local and foreign investors.

        He enjoined the graduands to apply themselves by acquiring necessary experiences and skills, so that they take their rightful position in the sector.

        Hon. Patrick Ikhariale, in his goodwill message, informed the graduands that an engineer ceases to be one, if and when he is no longer skillful, hence skill is what differentiates an engineer from non-engineers, he thus enjoined young engineers to key-into the opportunities by getting themselves gainfully engaged.

        As Special Guest of Honour, the Head of Service, Danladi Kifasi said that the Labour Unions were initially against Government’s move to privatize the sector, but today they now know better, that that is the way to go.  “NAPTIN has taken the right step in the right direction”, he therefore commended “the support of the international community to the Institute in spite of the serious security challenges we are currently experiencing.

        Earlier, in his welcome address, the Director General of NAPTIN, Engr. Reuben Okeke had tasked the graduands not to wait for tomorrow for it is here already. “As the nation goes to the poll in the next few days, make good choices and identify with that which has constructively invested in your future”.  “As beneficiaries of the Transformation Agenda, you are yourself Transformation Ambassadors”.

        A Nigerian in Diaspora and Stakeholder in Coal to Power Initiative, Dr. Innocent Ezuma, Chief Executive of Zuma Energy Company Limited, said that NAPTIN programme is commendable and must be supported as it would assist the nation in its quest for quantity and quality supply of required power.

        He instantly gave automatic employment to the 10 best students, starting with the best five, while the next five should forward their resumes for consideration.

Timothy Oyedeji

Deputy Director (Press

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