By Etuka Sunday
The federal government has disclosed its readiness to empower about 7, 400 youths to man the evolving private sector driven power sector. This it said was part of the structure put in place with regards to employment generation and also meeting the local content requirement
for the sector. It said the local content idea would assist in addressing the possible problem arising from foreign domination. A statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Power, Kande Daniel quoted the Minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo to have made the disclosure while addressing the closing ceremony of the 2014 Youth Summit of the Youth Initiative for Leadership and Rural Development YILARD, in Abuja.
Nebo according to the statement explained that the reforms in the Power sector were well thought-out and deliberately planned to incorporate this wealth-creation component of this initiative.
He pointed out that specific schemes and initiatives targeted at empowering young Nigerians included the Power Sector Entrepreneurship programme, the SURE-P, and the capacity development offered through the National Power Training Institute NAPTIN, whose graduates were already being engaged to provide the needed technical expertise in the privatized power sector. He disclosed that about 7,400 young men and women were to receive training that would revolutionise the Nigerian electricity market, when President Goodluck Jonathan, officially flags off the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Scheme for the Power Sector. The Minister commended the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for boldly reforming the sector, and for employing about one
thousand young engineers into the system which, for over seventeen years, did not employ any new engineer. According to him, the reforms are being religiously implemented, with a view to achieving sufficiency in power supply, which will usher in industrialization and greater economic growth.
He charged the youths to reject insinuations about Nigeria being or becoming a failed state, and assured them that the country is overcoming its challenges, as it has emerged as Africa’s largest economy, and has become one of the world’s top 4 nations in terms of return-on-investment.
Speaking on the Federal Government’s recent success in securing the delivery of 248 containers of vital electricity equipment abandoned at the ports for several years under previous administrations, the Minister said the abandonment was a demonstration of the need to privatise the sector, as no private entrepreneur would have tolerated such waste.
It will be recalled that the Minister of Power, in company of the Permanent Secretary Dr. Godknows Igali, personally took delivery of the power transmission equipment and flagged off their evacuation for immediate delivery to project sites, on Thursday 24th July this year. The 2014 Youth Summit of the Youth Initiative for Leadership and Rural Development YILARD, was held with the theme ‘Power Sector Reform and its Benefits to Nigerian Youths’.