Federal Government yesterday commissioned a N1.62 billion state-of-the-art electrical laboratory and demonstration center at the Kianji regional training centre of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).
The hi-tech engineering laboratory which offers a range of suitable training systems is intended to provide practical and hands-on understanding and experience in electrical power system during training across the generation, transmission and distribution sub-sectors of the electricity production chain.
Minister of State for Power Darius Ishaku, who commissioned the project, is optimistic that the laboratory will strengthen the capacity of the power sector workers.
He said it was unfortunate that most of the power stations had never received any overhaul since their construction even as there had been no structured trainings for the workers since 1989. Ishaku commended them for their ability to have kept the lights on.
"This training is sure to replace the few structurally trained professionals that are left in the sector. This project is timely because the few remaining trained professional engineers would now have a chance to pass on the knowledge before they go on retirement, he said.
In his remarks, Director General of NAPTIN, Engineer Reuben Okeke, said the laboratory was procured and installed by a German company at a cost of £772,000, (N1.62 billion), adding that apart from the installation, five NAPTIN engineers have also been trained at the contractors site in Germany on the operation of the equipment.
He further informed that similar training equipment, an electrical power system simulator, will soon be commissioned at NAPTIN's regional training center at Ijora, Lagos State, following the present administration's determination to address manpower challenge in the power sector.
Kainji center can train about 1,000 engineers yearly, while the nation is said to urgently need at least 8,000 skilled engineers.