Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday expressed overwhelming support for the bill which seeks to establish National Power Training Institute in Nigeria.
Chairman, House Committee on House Services, Hon. Wale Raji who sponsored the bill, explained the crux of this bill is to cloth the institute with legal personality such that it can operate maximally as a government agency with all its requisite authority within the bounds of the law.
He explained that the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 will provide the platform for the deregulation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry from the control, ownership and regulation of the Federal Government to private sector-driven industry.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke in favour of the bill, namely: Majority Chief Whip, Hon. Mohammed Monguno and Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. James Faleke, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi and Hon. Dachung Bagos expressed optimism that the existing Institute needs the legal framework to function more efficiently and will help in providing training for the operations of private sector organizations.
Hon. Raji who stressed the need for the Institute to be given the place to thrive as it is already in existence and already draws funds from the national budget, observed that this reform basically focused on accomplishing many goals amongst which are power stability, reliability, sustainability and human capacity development.
“In response to this reform and to address the lingering issues on human capacity development, the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) was established on March 23, 2009, to provide a structural and standardized training process in order to achieve manpower capacity development in the power sector.
“With the successful completion of the reform and privatization programme, the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) along with some newly established institutions in the power sector, assumed the status of a Parastatal of the Federal Government under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Power.
“The creation, establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of the Power Training Institute will serve as a focal point for the development and capacity building as well as a research center on matters relating to power in Nigeria and Africa at large. The Institute once established will also offer a comprehensive proactive engineering and technical training programmes for the professionals, graduate and industrial training (IT) undergraduates in the power and other related sectors.
“The Institute will also design professional certificate programmes that will ensure proficiency and global recognition thereby ensuring a high maintenance culture throughout the industry in order to enhance efficiency. This will also reduce the financial burden on the government over the training of its officials in the power sector.
“The fulcrum of this establishment bill is to create an Institute principally charged with the duty of training, developing and equipping persons in the power sector and beyond. The Institute shall also have the power to educate and certify persons according to the provisions of this Bill. Furthermore, the Institute will be a source of revenue generation to the government through training offered to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), individuals and companies in the power sector,” Hon. Raji noted.
He also expressed optimism that the establishment of the Institute will harness in promoting its objects, educating professional in the power sector and fostering the desired changes needed to revitalize the power sector,” he noted.
Speaking against the bill, Chairman, House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, Hon. Nicholas Ossai argued that the power sector has already been regulated and privatized, so establishing the Institute would not be practical.
While ruling, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who reminded members of the paucity of funds of the government, especially with the global pandemic still in effect, stressed that the House should not be seen to be insensitive to the paucity and trim down governance.
To this end, he urged sponsors of Establishment Bills to come up with detailed breakdown of the financial implications and the proposed source of such funding.
To this end, the Bill was referred to the House Committee on Power for further legislative action.
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