285 YOUNG ENGINEERS GRADUATE FROM NAPTIN PROGRAM
MINISTER OFFERS AUTOMATIC EMPLOYMENT & CASH TO BEST STUDENTSMonday, 1st December, 2014 will remain a day 285 young Nigerians will not forget in a hurry, as it was the day they all graduated from the NAPTIN Graduate Skills Development Programme, 2013/2014 Session organised by the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).
The Honourable Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, who was visibly excited, was on hand to present the Certificates of Merit to the 285 graduands at the 2nd Graduation Ceremony of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) in Abuja. The ceremony, which attracted some state governors, major stakeholders in the power sector including the President of COREN, Engineer Kashim Ali, was the climax of the one- year programme of NAPTIN, established to provide well trained human resource for the Power Sector.
Engineer Babatunde James Oluwaseyi was declared the all-round best graduand for the 2013/2014 NGSDP programme and also the best graduand in the Mechanical cadre, while Engineer Ume Emmanuel Chidiebere came out as the best graduand in the Electrical/Electronics cadre.
Professor Nebo, who offered automatic employment as well as awarding N150,000 and N100,000 prize monies and plaques to the two best graduating engineers from the two cadres, said that the provision of a pool of technical manpower to which the power sector could draw from was definitely a “very important and dual purpose of redressing the many impacts of many years of neglect of human capacity development as well as placing the power sector on a sure pedestal for growth”.
The Minister, who expressed delight over the achievements of NAPTIN, commended the partnership existing between the Institute and utility companies, especially in making available and accessible their life- networks for practical experience of the trainees, adding that it had complemented the efforts of the Federal Government by enhancing the capacity of NAPTIN to enroll more students which has resulted in significant growth in trainee population.
The Minister, while calling on all stakeholders and prospective investors to partner with NAPTIN in the task of producing skilled manpower to facilitate stakeholders’ approaches on power supply challenges and to key into the new global trend of providing an energy- friendly environment said that “we must turn our training and learning institutions towards new opportunities based on Research and Development”.
He commended President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on his dogged determination to reform the power sector, saying that the Transformation Agenda of the administration was already yielding positive dividends, stressing that it would in no distant future translate to more reliable power supply for the entire nation.
The Minister congratulated the graduands and their sponsors, and urged them to go out as ambassadors of the Institute and offer outstanding services with a difference. He also pleaded with all stakeholders to make the best use of them by placing them in meaningful positions.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Director-General of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, Engineer Reuben Okeke disclosed that out of the 285 Engineers, which included those in the Mechanical and Electrical/Electronics, 199 came out tops in the Merit Grade, the Institute’s highest grade, 72 came out in the Pass Grade, nine was graduating with satisfactory grade and 30 of the trainees did not graduate because they failed to satisfy the full requirements for the award of the NGSDP Certificate.
Engineer Okeke revealed that the graduands went “through rigorous and toughening processes that took them through a 9-month practical hands-on experiences in the three sub-sectors of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of the electricity value-chain in various power sector companies, in addition to a three-month modularised classroom training at various NAPTIN’s Training Centres across the country”.
According to Engineer Okeke, NAPTIN, has admitted 220 fresh engineers and another 160 students in its 2014/2015 Graduate Skills Development Programme (NGSDP). He commended the Federal Government, whose SURE-P programme sponsored the first batch of 220 fresh engineers this year, the Taraba State Government for sponsoring 50 students and the Sahara Power Group for sponsoring 110. According to him, the Federal Government was making effort to sponsor another 150 students through the SURE-P next year.
He also commended the State Governments of Anambra, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Cross River, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe, Ekiti, Ebonyi, and Kwara for sponsoring their indigenes to the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 batches and encouraged states yet to key into the programme to do so.
Engineer Okeke went further to reveal that the United States Government would be partnering with NAPTIN to organise a Regional Training workshop on Aggregate Technical/Commercial Loss Reduction in February 2015 as a follow-up to a successful Regional workshop held in September 2013 at NAPTIN’s Regional Training Centre, Akangba, Lagos. He stated that the workshop funded by USAID would be implemented by NAPTIN and the United States Energy Association (USEA) with participants drawn from the electricity distribution companies of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania and Uganda.
Engineer Okeke expressed sincere appreciation to some partners who have worked with the institute in the course of developing and delivering acceptable and working solutions to manpower development in the sector. He listed the partners to include: German Government through the GIZ; United States Government through the USTDA, USEA, and the USAID; the Japanese Government through JICA; the Israeli Government through the Israel Electric Corporation Training Centre; the Indian Government through the National Power Training Institute, India; the World Bank through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and PMU office; the Department for International Development (UK), who provided the blueprint and study leading to the establishment of NAPTIN; the National Board for Technical Education (Nigeria); the Centre for Management Development (CMD); the Abuja Graduate School; the Kaduna Business School and a host of others.
The Director-General enjoined the graduands to make the best use of the opportunity offered as in the acquisition of technical knowledge to develop expertise to proffer solution on the issues troubling our nation and bail it out by restoring honour and hope.
Also on hand to lend support to NAPTIN was the Chairman of the Senate Committe on Power, Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda who congratulated NAPTIN and the graduands, promising that the Senate would continue to provide legislation to ensure that the power sector sector was positioned for better performance.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador (Dr) Godknows Igali in his address described the graduands as critical human assets of the nation who are expected to give much more than they have been given. He further said that the Ministry of Power has given states equal opportunities to participate in the programme, warning that the Ministry would not wait for any state as it would constitute a drawback from moving the sector forward.
In his valedictory speech, a representative of the graduands who happen to be the best graduating student, Babatunde James Oluwaseyi called on his fellow graduands and compatriots to work towards achieving success in the power sector. He commended the Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Power, NAPTIN and their lecturers for providing them opportunities to learn and become better skilled professionals.
The initiator of NAPTIN as a training Institute, former Minister of Power, Dr. Lanre Babalola who graced the occasion, expressed happiness that the institute, which was his pet project, had started bearing fruits. He commended the Director-General for a job well done and wished the graduands well in their future endeavours.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr Sam Amadi stressed the need for the industry to have more engineers in the sector than drivers and marketers, pointing out that the technical aspect in the sector had remained dismal for so long and that the gap must be filled.
In his vote of thanks, the Director, Business Services of NAPTIN, Mr A. B. Nagode while congratulating the graduands for their success described them as true ambassadors of the Institute.