By Nosa Alekhuogie
The Nigerian Content and Development Monitoring board (NCDMB) in collaboration with the Lagos Energy Academy (LEA), AOS Orwell and Siemens, recently put together an initiative to empower engineers across the country.
The training was targeted at young Nigerians engineers seeking professional development in order to bridge the gap between theories and hands-o and sets up engineers for successful careers in electrical associated fields.
The programme, which runs for six months, also provides participants with a solid foundation in electrical and electronics theory and practices.
It combines classroom-based teaching approach, hands-on, practical training with internship and on-the-job training.
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, while addressing the participants at the LEA in Lagos, noted that the initiative which he said marked the beginning of a revised approach to training in the oil and gas industry, was part of the boards’ 10- year strategic roadmap.
“I am delighted about this training as it is part of NCDMB’s capacity building efforts towards utilisation of Nigerian human resources. I am happy that in the course of this training, our partners would include soft skills; personal and professional effectiveness which are very important in delivering value. International certification is the main thrust of the training and we are glad it is certified by Siemens.
“As the nation moves towards realisation of the provision of 24/7 electricity, the programme is our own contribution to this effort from the perspective of provision of skills, human resources , it also speaks for push for Sectorial linkages in the other sectors such as ICT, construction and power.
“In our strategy we look at the end game before we start the journey in itself, the commitment to retain and secure employment for at least 60 per cent of the beneficiaries’ is a big component of this new training model by the board,” he added.
On his part, the Managing Director, AOS Orwell, Mr. Femi Omotayo, described the initiative as a solution that everybody should replicate, saying it marked the beginning to solve a long-term problem in Nigeria.
According to him, “About a N100 million has been invested into this project in terms of certification, running costs for the facility, maintenance and others.
“One of the key challenges in Nigeria is youth unemployment, the second thing was that lots of expatriates are brought into the country to do some specialised work which we were told Nigerians couldn’t do because they don’t have international certificates or because we don’t have certain equipment to be able to do these things.
“Another challenge was that after the qualifications, many couldn’t still get a job that’s why we created this initiative to be able to close that loop hole and partner with big projects like light up Lagos project, street light project amongst others.
“We partnered with some of these projects then they tell us what they require, we can manage the courses a little bit to make it suitable for their projects, so it is easier for them to employ these people,” he said.
Omotayo further said: “It is divided into two parts: four months of classroom training and two months on-the-job (OJT) training. The selection process was equally interesting as everybody picked came from a data base so there was no case of being bias.
“We selected 100 people, but we are going to start with the first batch which consists of 50 people. If we can get this module proven, it becomes a standard template to just begin to get real technicians.
The Lagos state government in conjunction with AOS Orwell and Siemens have been able to develop a standardised curriculum which is internationally recognised. We have also investment in world class equipment. When you get a certificate from here, you can use it anywhere in the world.”