Abuja – Graduate engineers have been called upon to be the solution to the nation’s power challenge by making a difference in the industry rather than adding to its problems.
The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri, made the call at the inauguration of 2015/2016 Training of 100 Graduate Engineers by the National Power Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), in Abuja on Monday.
Shehuri, who declared the training open, said the inductees, who would be trained to man the power sector, should see themselves as special group and change agents in the industry.
He said the major problem in Nigeria was that of power, but assured that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari would fix it.
The minister called on the trainees to make a difference in the industry, adding that they should be the solution to the nation’s power challenge and should not add to its problems.
He assured that the nation’s power generation would hit 25,000 megawatts before 2020.
Mr Louis Edozien, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, assured that government was doing everything possible to improve the sector.
He added that the industry could not improve without adequate skilled personnel to man it.
He advised the trainees to imbibe good ethics, integrity and service so that they could achieve positive result.
According to him, the trainees will excel with good attitude and attention to their studies.
Guest Speaker, retired Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr Abdullahi Aliyu, called on the National Assembly to enact a law establishing NAPTIN.
According to him, NAPTIN was only registered by Corporate Affairs Commission and this will not enable it to function effectively.
Aliyu also urged the Federal Government to constitute a board for the institute with members drawn from relevant organisations without being politicised
He also called on government to fund the institute from the power sector fund being allocated and shared by Market Operators for capacity training.
Dr Reuben Okeke, Director General of NAPTIN, said the institute was committed to power development, adding that the institute was the change agent on which the sector rests.
Okeke said that out of the 100 trainees, 63 were being sponsored by their state governments and firms.
He called on the trainees to imbibe what they learnt during the training.
He said Imo, Borno and Akwa Ibom governments as well as Guinness Nigeria, NetcoDietsman and Mainstream Energy Solution were some of the sponsors of the trainees.
Alhaji Ali Wudil, House committee member on power, called on NAPTIN boss to initiate Private Member Bill to the National Assembly to enact NAPTIN’s enabling law.
Wudil advised the institute to extend its training from one to two years, so that the graduates would be adequately trained.
He also advised the trainees to be patriotic and confident in order to succeed. (NAN)