ABUJA – The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said on Wednesday in Abuja that the planned apprenticeship scheme by the ministry would bridge the technical gap in the power sector.
This is contained in statement issued on his behalf by the Deputy Director, Press Mr Timothy Oyedeji,
Nebo said the scheme was conceived by the ministry to train artisans, filters, machinists, linesmen sub-station operators and joineries.
“There exist a huge gap, that we need to fill otherwise foreigners will take over this sector. Qualified and skillful Nigerians would also be needed in the area of renewable energy.
“It is a huge way of advancing local content capacity of our people. If we can train our people why do we need to import technicians, when our people can do the job,” he said.
According to him, when trained, the staff would be a driving force to take the power sector to higher heights.
Nebo said that on assumption of duty he discovered a near hopeless situation on the technical side of the sector, with over 16 years off non-engagement of engineers.
He said then the sector was filled with sick and incapacitated workers with no hope of being replaced by competent hands.
“The implication of this ugly development is that we will be handing over to the private sector, a totally deficient and incapacitated work force that cannot deliver on the mandate handed down to us,“ he said.
He said that the apprentices would be drawn from across the country to undergo intensive training between six months and one year.
Nebo said the trainees would receive stipends in the course of their training.
The minister explained that the proposed scheme was not in conflict with the on-going programme by the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria.
Nebo said the scheme was not for engineers but for lower cadre positions with School Certificate, Ordinary Diploma and some Higher Diploma holders.
“I look forward to a sector that will be driven by home grown skilled work-force, that is my dream,” he said. (NAN)