The General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, on Wednesday said the state would deploy solar power in 172 rural schools in the state by June. Ogunbiyi spoke in Lagos when the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) paid her a courtesy visit.
“We are deploying solar energy to about 172 schools and temporary healthcare centres all around Lagos so that all our riverine and rural schools would be powered by solar by June,” she said. Ogunbiyi said that the Lagos Energy Academy was built by the state government to create jobs, provide qualified manpower for the distribution companies and bridge the energy needs of the nation.
She lamented the fall in standard of education which shifted the focus of the academy from admitting technical college students to university graduates. Ogunbiyi said that Siemens regulated the trainings and certified the engineers in conformity with standards. “Our educational system has failed us so much that we are not getting the quality of people that we were hoping to get.
“This same exams that they give to 17 year olds in Siemens, our electrical engineering graduates hardly pass. “So as an organisation, I think you need to go look at technical and university institutions because if you say you are a graduate or have masters in electrical engineering and you cannot tell how a transformer works, then there is a problem. “I wanted technical college students to go out there and fix the problem but they do not pass at all,“ she said.
The general manager said the board was partnering with the private sector and the government to develop a direct labour force to maintain street lights and other issues of power in the state. The Chairman of NIEEE, Mr Michael Akan, who led the delegation, said that the association was ready to partner with the board in training and other projects.
“We want to see how we can partner with you in any of your activities because we have a depository of resource persons in the energy and power sector to move Lagos State forward,“ he said. The team was conducted round the academy and the various power plants where they shared views with the various engineers.