NAPTIN partners GE, GIZ to improve power sector training

Gas fired power plantOscarline Onwuemenyi 15 July 2013, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, NAPTIN, says it is working with international energy giants, including General Electric of America and Germany’s GIZ, to improve its curriculum as well as expand its simulation and training equipment towards becoming a world-class power institute.

Director General of NAPTIN, Engr. Reuben Okeke, who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Abuja, said the Institute plans to train more than 2,000 fresh graduates of electronics/electrical engineering, among other technicians and craftsmen over the next one year, to contribute to the bulging power sector in Nigeria.

He stated: “In order to make sure we strengthen our training capacity, we have been in discussion with several agencies and organisations, including General Electric, who were here to seek partnership on diverse areas such the review of our curriculum and faculty, as well as our training aid equipment.

“They assured us of their support towards helping us develop our capacities and capabilities in the nearest future. Also, GIZ of Germany, which has taken up office at NAPTIN headquarters, is looking at ways to assist us in organizational development, as well strengthen us in the area of trainingmanpower in renewable energy”.

He added that the company is presently developing model renewable energy projects in about four states of the Federation, and they need to train people to work in these sites and they have chosen NAPTIN as their local training partner in this project.

According to him, “They are assisting us to be a self-sustaining power training organisation and it is expected that over the next four years, we would be training a lot of experts in renewable energy technology, including professional engineers as well as technicians and craftsmen.”

He noted that in the past two years, programmes initiated by the Institute have been doing very well. “We have our curriculum, which we shall be reviewing to meet global trends in power training. This is where we are working with energy giants, GE.

“We also recently developed the National Occupational Standards along with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and other stakeholders. It is a big document which sets guidelines for training in five distinct areas including mechanical auxiliary, electrical system operation, electrical system protection, turbine operation and electrical maintenance,” he stated.

He added that General Electric will help NAPTIN adapt its curriculum to the National Occupational Standards.

According to Engr. Okeke, “The planned review would ensure that the curriculum which we currently operate is aligned with the national standards in these five areas in the power sector. The are also looking at upgrading facilities we have on training, as well as profiling our faculty.”

The NAPTIN boss noted that GE has made clear their commitment in assisting Nigeria develop its power infrastructure.

“Presently, they have about 32 turbines operating in the country, and they want to make sure that those operating those turbines have the requisite training. That is their interest,” he said, adding: “They recently signed an agreement with the Federal government for the production of about 10,000 mega watts of electricity, and they are interested in training the manpower to realize this plan. They have chosen NAPTIN as their local developmental partner in Nigeria and the discussions have started.”

Engr. Okeke explained that NAPTIN’s activities have been recognised even beyond the shores of the country, noting that precisely, on the 24th of June this year, “we were invited for a global recognition and were awarded with the Golden QuAlity Award for Customer Satisfaction andBusiness Prestige. NAPTIN was among 58 organizations for about 50 countries, and the only organisation from Nigeria, that were invited to Rome, Italy for the award.

“We don’t know how we were selected for this award, but we believe that it was as a result of the quality of work we are doing here. We have presented the award to the Minister of Power. Such a recognition even beyond the shores of Nigeria is encouraging to us, and shows that we are working hard to make a difference in the area of capacity building in the nation’s energy industry,” Engr. Okeke added.

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