Nigeria, France to sign €50m loan next month for power training

*Reuben-Okeke, NAPTIN boss.

*Reuben-Okeke, NAPTIN boss.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

19 April 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Nigeria and France will next month sign a €50m (about N11.15 billion) loan for the development and upgrading of the countries power training facilities.

The Director-General of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, NAPTIN, Engr. Reuben Okeke, who disclosed this yesterday during the Institute’s Graduate Skills Development Programme graduation ceremony in Abuja, said President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to sign on behalf of Nigeria, while the President of France, Francois Hollande, will sign for his country.

Okeke noted that the loan, when accessed, would support NAPTIN in its Graduate Skill Development Programme (NGSDP) initiative, stressing that the programme was the answer to solving manpower shortage in the technical skills-set in Nigeria’s power equation.

He said, “By next month, the President Muhammadu Buhari and Francois Hollande of France will be signing a loan agreement to get NAPTIN completely transformed, up to a tune of €50m.

“Mindful of the fact that the success of the recent power sector reform will in part depend on the availability of a qualified workforce to meet the needs of the industry and the corresponding need to structure its operations to reflect the needs of the private sector, NAPTIN is currently working with a leading international consulting outfit through funding support of the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) to evolve a new strategic plan.”

According to him, the plan does not only encompass the training needs of the new private entrants, but also their participation in the delivery process.

The NAPTIN boss added further that with the assistance of AFD, the Nigeria would become a hub for power sector professional development across the African continent.

Meanwhile, Okeke had noted that out of 154 candidates that enroled for the 2014/2015 batch, a total of 142 engineers, comprising of 48 distribution engineers, 58 generation and 36 in the transmission cadre successfully graduated from the programme.

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