Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola , SAN on Tuesday, 14th October, 2014, formally commissioned the Lagos Energy Academy and inducted the first batch of its students.
The Governor who inspected the facilities at the Academy located at the state Electricity Board, Works Yard Road, GRA, Ikeja after the unveiling said this first key step will herald the training of many batches of power engineers and artisans who will provide the necessary human capital for lighting Lagos and Nigeria.
According to him, the Lagos Energy Academy will provide training for young people to become technicians and electrical engineers and provide training in generation, transmission and distribution.
Fashola explained that inside the Academy, there are modules on the sub-station that people see outside which has been simulated as well as transformers and all sorts of learning equipments and tools.
“We believe that over the years, there is a possibility to produce as many as 200,000 graduates who would have Siemens certification to be able to work anywhere. We are also partnering with a meter manufacturing company who is training them on how to diagnose faults with meters, the old analogue meters, the digital meters, the card meters, so that they are able to render service in terms of power generation transmission and distribution and all of the challenges,” he said.
According to the Governor, the state government’s initiative is significant because it connects the curriculum of the Academy with the needs of the society.
“This really now is connecting our curriculum to the needs of our society, the biggest needs of this society today is power and as the Discos are taking position, they are going to need men and women, boys and girls who will provide the manpower, the knowledge and this is where we have decided to invest, to connect these young people to jobs that are waiting to be taken so that they do not continue to complain about unemployment.
“So, we have taken them from all levels, from vocational centres, technical colleges and through our schools systems to give them a chance to start out a new career in power sector in Lagos”, he explained.
Speaking on the Mainland Independent Power Project, the Governor said it is the sixth IPP that the state is completing and now going through the pre-commissioning testing, adding that when it is commissioned, hopefully before the end of this month, it would now power LASUTH, the High Court, the Lagos State Police Command and all of the public institutions around Ikeja.
He explained that what is behind the IPP is the sample of the solar installations that are going to be installed in all public schools in Lagos State, adding that government already has contracts for 172 of them in partnership with DFID for which it has to provide counterpart funding .
“Very soon you would see this installed in all our schools in Lagos, so we are taking the schools off regular generators, carbon energy. All public schools and you would see the solar panels on top of them, that is where the energy is going to come from and it would also have charging points for students who need to charge their IPADS. So this is a foundation for moving our schools finally to electronic and e-learning because there would be regular and uninterrupted power,” he added.
Speaking on opportunities available for people from other states, the Governor said there is always room to take on people from other states subject to them complying with the pre-qualification tests.
“You can’t just walk in here. You have to satisfy basic literacy competence and knowledge and quantitative test to get people in. At the first application we had about 200 people, only about 90 passed at a time but I don’t have final details of how many finally qualified, but it is very serious business because the certificate you would be getting is a global certificate from a brand like Siemens”, he explained.
Prominent among those who received the Governor at the commissioning ceremony were the state Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engineer Taofik Tijani; and his Rural Development counterpart, Mr Cornelius Ojelabi and top staff of the state Electricity Board including the General Manager, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi.