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.
Disclosing this yesterday during the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) Graduate Skills Development Programme graduation ceremony in Abuja, director general of NAPTIN, Engr.Reuben Okeke, 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 explained that the fund would support the NAPTIN in its 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 of Nigeria and that 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 encompasses 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 disclosed that out of 154 candidates that enrolled 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.