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      As part of its intention to boost investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and rural electrification in Nigeria, the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP) have entered into a skilled training partnership with 11 training institutions in Nigeria’s power sector.
      The 11 institutions, which included Nigeria’s premier power training institute, the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) will by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they signed with NESP and REEP in Abuja, draw training supports from a €24.5 million (N5.3 billion) funding pool.

      The fund was set aside for such objectives by the European Union (EU) and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
      The MoU, thus allows the 11 beneficiary training institutions the opportunity to primarily train and create a skilled pool of workforce for deployment to and development of clean energy in Nigeria.

      From the content of the MoU, which was signed between the NESP implementing agency, the Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the 11 institutions, courses to be covered within the framework include off-grid renewable energy design for engineers, energy efficient building design for architects and solar photovoltaic installation for technicians.

      The head of NESP, Felix Nitz however explained that the partnership for the skilled training was initiated to help develop Nigeria’s clean energy sector.
      He said: “Gone are the days when training is done for training sake. For the clean energy sector to become an engine of growth for the Nigerian economy, professionals have to be equipped with relevant skills that render them employable in the industry.”
      Nitz explained that NAPTIN, Centre for Renewable Energy Technology in the Federal University of Technology Akure, Sokoto Energy Research Centre (SERC) in the University of Sokoto as well as the National Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (NCEEC) University of Lagos are some of the beneficiary institutions.
      According to him, the NESP takes primary interest in policy reform and on-grid renewable energy, energy efficiency, rural electrification and sustainable energy access as well as capacity development and training in Nigeria’s power sector.
      Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has in a related development set up a panel to ensure high efficiency of the networks and safety of utilities providers and workers as well as the general public in the country’s power sector.
      NERC enlisted a panel of 12 people, comprising of two representatives each from the generation, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and distribution companies, as well as independent power producers and three persons from the consumers to consult, research and review extant health and safety code in the power sector.

      The commission’s decision to set up the panel stems from reported increase in the last four years of electricity accidents in the country.

      The panel it is learnt shall keep the health and safety code which was designed and enunciated by NERC as well as its implementation under periodic review from all suggestions for amendments.

      NERC noted at its inauguration of the panel, that their initiation would ensure that high safety standard are imbibed in the sector, adding that its members shall be appointed for a term of two renewable years.

      By Chineme Okafor, Thisday.

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