In its effort to develop skills in the Nigerian power sector, President Goodlick Jonathan has inaugurated the National Power Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPSAS). The Scheme is to bridge the gap of short fall in supply of the needed manpower in the industry. Jonathan was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim. He said the scheme was a vital aspect of his administration’s drive to provide meaningful employment opportunities for Nigerian youths. “It will provide the enabling environment for the development of skills required to underpin the growth of the power sector,” he said.

According to him, the scheme marks a major step forward in the realisation of the country’s vision for improved employment opportunities for the nation’s young people. Jonathan said his administration was committed to the country’s economic growth in its position as the largest economy in Africa.

He said that since the inauguration of the power sector road map in 2010, the sector had witnessed major developments, including the privitisation of generation and distribution assets. The president said that investment in development of human capital in the power sector had suffered setbacks for many years prior to the reform. “For almost 20 years, the former NEPA or PHCN did not recruit new staff, including engineers, artisans, technicians and craftsmen. “I believe that this scheme will provide skilled manpower that the distribution, generation and transmission companies can build on to underpin their growth programmes being awaited by Nigerians. “Let me reiterate that the provision of safe and reliable electricity to every Nigerian is one of the cardinal objectives of the transformation agenda of my administration.”

He said that to achieve this objective, the ministry of power was actively pursuing private investment in the new power generation project. The 7, 400 participants are drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to participate in the six months programme in four batches.

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