In its quest to improve the capabilities of Nigeria’s power sector value chain, Schneider electric in partnership with Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) and the National Power Training Institute (NAPTIN) has launched an electricians’ training programme.

The firms say the programme will significantly boost a sector with limited local human and institutional capacities. 

Speaking with newsmen, Viviane Mike-Eze, Marketing Communication Manager, Schneider Electric said the initiative is borne out of the desire to empower Nigerian youths and electricians, availing them the opportunity of getting trained and obtaining a certification. 

According to her, this would also ensure safety as incidences of fire outbreak in homes are alarmingly high.

In her words, “Incidences of fire outbreaks from faulty electrical installations in Nigeria need to be curbed. It is also our responsibility as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to make sure that we give them the best in competency, so whenever they install electrical fittings, they do it the right way.

Left to right: Barthelemy Blanc, Regional Economic Department, French Embassy; Viviane Mike-Eze, Marketing Communication Manager, Schneider Electric; Ademola Adesoji, Senior Project Manager, French Development Agency; Kunle Oyenusi, Senior Legal Counsel, NAPTIN; Christophe Begat, Managing Director, Anglophone West Africa, Schneider Electric; Engr. Ayoola, Ijora Center Manager, NAPTIN; Joseph Inyang, CTO, (Schneider)

“Another benefit is employability. We don’t only train people in technical skills we also train them to become employable by teaching them business skills which they could express by becoming better entrepreneurs and be job creators themselves.

“We have done it before. Today, former students of Schneider Electric training programmes with partners have become employers of labour,” she said.

According to her, “this would impact positively on the sector as solar energy equipment installations will also be taught to participants.”

She said, “First of all, when you have competent technicians and electricians, you know you are working towards a better power sector in the future. They constitute a potential workforce who know exactly what is needed in terms of infrastructure to better the power sector.

“Away from that, as Schneider Electric, we also focus on solar training which is key for us. Look at the potential of Solar in Nigeria. This is a free resource which is becoming bigger. We are also going to be increasing trainees’ competency to know how to install solar equipment. 

“The reception has been massive, more so because Schneider Electric and AFD are subsidizing it to make it affordable for Nigerians,” she added.

On his part, Ademola Adesoji, Senior Project Manager, Energy and Transport, AFD said, “the training of electricians is beyond power supply. As we are striving to have more power supply, we need to have well trained electricians in the sense of bringing more safety to the homes.

“We are co-partners of this event with the support of the French Treasury. As electricity can do well, so can it do badly if not well managed. We’re focusing on the entire power value chain – generation, transmission and distribution. 

Speaking earlier, Christophe Begat, Managing Director, Schneider Electric, Anglophone, West Africa said “through its Access to Energy Training program, Schneider Electric has trained over 1000 beneficiaries in the last 5 years. This program is another milestone. We plan to extend it to Abuja and Port Harcourt, and train over 300 electricians per year.

 “We have a long journey ahead of us which is why we are here for the official kick-off. The objective is to train electricians to international standard so that, whenever they install equipment, either in a building or factory, they’ll be sure to be of power dependability and a safe infrastructure.

Power Minister Fashola and President Buhari have been struggling with how to fix Nigeria's energy woes (Presidency)

“For us, it’s a long term project and we are very pleased to contribute to this in Nigeria,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari rode to power in 2015 partly on the back of a promise to improve power supply to homes and businesses.

But outages and erratic supply of power remain recurring themes across Africa's most populous nation.