By DOTUN IBIWOYE
THE Federal Government, in collaboration with the Federal Education Ministry and Schneider Electric, has commenced a collaboration aimed at boosting access to electricity in the Niger Delta region, in particular and the country at large.
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, flagged off the initiative weekend with the commissioning of the Isaac Boro Energy Training College in Grenoble, France.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Daniel Alabrah, head, Media and Communications, Presidential Amnesty Programme. Kuku said that under the programme, the Federal Government would generate and distribute between 8,000 and 10,000 megawatts of electricity by the end of 2015.
“Several of the power installations that would aid the attainment of this goal are located in the Niger Delta. If we do not train persons in the Niger Delta that would be deeply and properly involved in the generation and distribution of electricity, we may not attain this visionary goal of President Goodluck Jonathan. This collaboration with the French Government and Schneider Electric of France is geared towards expediting the ongoing transformation in the power sector in the country.
“I am truly delighted at this collaboration between the Federal Government and the French Government. Nigeria is at the verge of a revolution in the power sector.
‘’In fact, we are preparing for a revolution of sorts in the power sector in Nigeria and that is why we have decided to massively develop manpower in that sector in collaboration with the French Government and Schneider Electric of France,” Kuku added.
The training college, which was named after the Niger Delta freedom fighter, late Major Isaac Adaka Boro, is an initiative between the Federal Government and Schneider Electric Nigeria, drawing on the expertise of both Schneider Electric France and the French Education Ministry.
Alsp speaking at the event also, the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Hakeem Suleiman, lauded Schneider and the French Government for establishing a training institute purposely designed to help meet the power needs of Nigeria.
“Prior to today’s commissioning of the Isaac Boro Technical College, I had the honour of touring and inspecting the facilities here. The institute is first class and it is among the best of its kind. Even more important, the establishment of the technical college in France is a reflection of the strategic partnership that exists between Nigeria and France. It is truly a huge milestone that we have achieved today,” Ambassador Suleiman said.
The Chairman/CEO of Schneider Electric, Mr. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, reiterated the firm’s commitment to the total transformation of the power sector in Nigeria.
“The lack of trained engineers in the electrical and energy fields is a major obstacle to the successful and sustainable development of a number of regions in emerging economies.
It is in recognition of this fact that Schneider is pledging to assist Nigeria in human capacity building in the power sector,’’ he said.