By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
In developing effective human capacity in the power sector, the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) has commenced training of 80 electricity workers from the Liberia Electricity Company (LEC) on power generation, distribution and transmission.
The four-week programme was being sponsored by West African Power Pool (WAPP) and funded by the Africa Development Bank (AFDB) aimed at promoting West African Countries’ integration on power sector training and to share experience among West African countries.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in Lagos on Thursday, the institute’s acting Director-General, Mr Ahmed Nagode, said that WAPP came together to help grow and improve the technical skills of LEC personnel, adding that the trainees would in turn use this acquired knowledge to resolve their nation’s power challenges.
“Leveraging on the strength of one another through proper synergy has proven to be a catalyst for growth and development.
“World-class companies and institutions have at one time or another sought partnership with each other to grow.
“WAPP has worked for many years with training providers to establish programs that put in place the necessary instruments for the skilled manpower needed in the power utilities of its members countries,’’ he said
Nagode said that the course was designed in groups to be trained at Lagos and Kainji Dam in Niger State.
According to him, the objective of the training is to improve their capacity on electricity generation, customers care, basic power system protections, distribution and transmission network.
“The training will also increase their capacity in effective power supply and revenue collection.
“The second WAPP programme training scholarship for LEC staff was funded by AFDB with about 130,000 dollars focused on value creation themed in discussing practical examples, various approaches and potentials,’’ the NAPTIN boss said
He said that the courses would include – power distribution, maintenance and repairs, power transmission network and substations operation maintenance.
Other courses, he said, were commercial operations (metering, sales invoicing, customer relations and accounting).
Nagode commended President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration on its power sector recovery plan, which sought to ensure incremental and uninterrupted power in Nigeria.
He also lauded the chairman of WAPP, Chief Executive Officer of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)Mr Usman Mohammed with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola for their efforts in building human capacity in the power sector in Nigeria and West Africa and beyond.
The NAPTIN boss said that the event could be perceived in a sense as part of its contributions in fulfilling the Medium-Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) objectives of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
“The West African Power Pool is a regional body of ECOWAS, which is made up of 29 power utilities of West African States with the vision to have a unified regional electricity market in West Africa through a national power system operations.
“Its vision is to have a unified regional electricity market in West African through a national power system,’’ the NAPTIN boss added.
Mr Babab Jarjusey, the Director, Admin and Finance, WAPP , said that the vision of the association was to integrate the national power systems into a unified regional electricity market with the ultimate goal of providing in the medium and long term.
Jarjusey said that the association’s vision also dwell on a regular and reliable energy at competitive cost to the citizenry of the ECOWAS region.
He said that the association’s mission was to promote and develop power generation and transmission infrastructures as well as to coordination power exchange among the ECOWAS member states.
He said the courses would include power distribution maintenance and repairs, power transmission network, substations operation maintenance, and commercial operations (metering, sales invoicing, customer relations and accounting).
Also Mr Mamadun Alpha-Sylla, Director, Training Coo-rdinator, Capacity building Programme commended NAPTIN for the bold steps taken in ensuring adequate training for LEC staff through the collaboration of WAPP, while urging the trainees to remain focused to achieve desired goals.
Alpha-Sylla said that Liberia has been transformed in terms of electrification efficiency, which he said was one of the WAPP objectives and commitment to train staff of LEC.
According to him, we are also planning with NAPTIN on LEC staff assessment programmes in ensuring efficiency on their fields. I appeal to trainees to be more dedicated in replicating what you leant here back home when you get to your country.
One of the trainee, Mrs Mille Williems assured the management of WAPP and NAPTIN that they are going replicate what the learnt in Nigeria back home, adding that “We are going to be train the trainers’.Williems said that the programmes undergo by staff of LEC in NAPTIN was massive and instructive, adding that it’s truly a practical training which was an eye openers to everyone.