12 April 2014, Lagos – The Lagos State Government is to establish an energy training institute to supply the manpower needs of the developing power sector.
The Commissioner for Energy Resources, Mr Taofeek Tijani, announced this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
He said: “We are establishing this energy institute, basically to bridge the gap available for increase in opportunities in the emerging power sector.
“Really, as the sector is developing, we are having skills gap. So many workers of the defunct PHCN are ageing and are now going out, and that is creating a deficiency.
“We need to bring in young people to the sector; we need to train them and give them all the skills.’’
He said that the state government saw an opportunity in all these, hence the plan to set up the institute.
Tijani said the privitisation of the power sector would open an avalanche of opportunities that could only be maximised by skilled personnel.
He said that that the institute would produce a new generation of power professionals to fully tap the anticipated opportunities in the developing sector.
The commissioner said the institute, to be sited in Ikeja, would attract young graduates with science background who would be trained on the workings of the sector.
He added that the state government would partner some corporate organisations with interest in the sector to fund some of the institute’s programmes, adding that government was yet to decide on its take-off date.
Tijani, however, assured that government was doing its best to make the project a reality as soon as possible.
He noted that the state government believed firmly in the emerging power sector and would support investors in the sector.
He added that the government established three independent power plants in Alausa, Adiyan and Lagos Island as part of its effort to improve power supply in the state.
Tijani said the state planned a 8.8 megawatts power plant in Mainland and another six megawatts plant in Lekki to further boost power supply.
“We have about three IPPs that are operational now. Two more are coming on board; one at Mainland that will service the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and some of the old GRA infrastructure.
“Another one in Lekki will take care of institutions in Lekki, the water schemes and those in Victoria Island, as well as street lights in those areas.
“Both IPPs will deliver about 14.8 megawatts, and we are sure the delivery of these projects will further improve supply,’’ he said.
Tijani said the government was aware of the power challenges faced by businesses in the state and was working with power investors to address them.