• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Power sector: Lagos unveils Energy Academy to boost manpower

First publicly owned Energy Academy targeted at shoring up manpower in Nigeria’s post-power privatisation era has been unveiled in Lagos.

Nigeria is said to be in acute shortage of qualified manpower to drive the expected expansion in the power sector which was privatised by the Federal Government in November 2013 leading to the emergence of Generation Companies (GENCOs) and Distribution Companies (GENCOs) from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The academy sited at the Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB) within the Government Reserved Area (GRA), Ikeja, will offer courses that will see graduands becoming electrical engineers with globally recognised certificates. The first batch of students were inducted on Tuesday, signalling the full take of the academy.

At the unveiling of the academy, Governor Babatunde Fashola, who also inspected its facilities, said the first key step will be the training of many batches of power engineers and artisans who will provide the necessary human capital for lighting Lagos in particular and Nigeria in general.

According to him, the energy academy will provide training for young people who will graduate to technicians and electrical engineers. The academy, the governor added, will offer training in power generation, transmission and distribution.

Fashola disclosed that within the that academy will exist modules on the sub-station that people see outside which has been simulated as well as transformers and all sorts of learning equipments and tools.

“We believe that over the years, there is a possibility to produce as many as 200,000 graduates who would have Siemens certification to be able to work anywhere. We are also partnering with a meter manufacturing company which is training them on how to diagnose faults with meters, the old analogue meters, the digital meters, the card meters, so that they are able to render service in terms of power generation, transmission and distribution and all of the challenges,” said the governor.

He explained that the initiative was significant because it connects the curriculum of the academy with the needs of the society.

“The biggest need of this society today is power and as the DISCOs are taking position, they are going to need men and women, boys and girls who will provide the manpower, the knowledge, and this is where we have decided to invest, to connect these young people to jobs that are waiting to be taken so that they do not continue to complain about unemployment.

“We have taken them from all levels, from vocational centres, technical colleges and through our schools systems to give them a chance to start out a new career in power sector in Lagos”, said Fashola.

On whether the academy will take students from other states, Fashola said there was always room to take on people from other states subject to them complying with the prequalification tests. “You can’t just walk in here. You have to satisfy basic literacy competence and knowledge and quantitative test to get people in. At the first application we had about 200 people, only about 90 passed at a time but I don’t have final details of how many finally qualified, but it is very serious business because the certificate you would be getting is a global certificate from a brand like Siemens”, he explained.