By Fabian Ekeruche
Asteven Energy Institute is partnering the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to issue a National Innovation Diploma (NID) in Solar Energy Technology.
The institute made the disclosure at a virtual stakeholders meeting monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
In his opening remarks, Dr Sunny Akpoyibo, the President of Asteven Energy Group, underscored the need for certification in the nation’s renewable energy sector in line with global best practices.
Akpoyibo said the drive to establish the institute was borne out of a vision to ensure that Nigeria and indeed, Africa does not become just a project-based location.
He also said it was established to provide local expert technical manpower resource for the industry and for the quantum of solar projects being undertaken.
Akpoyibo, also the Chairman Governing Council of the Institute, said the need for certification became necessary because of the increase and importance of solar technologies in Nigeria.
He said that as part of the energy transition plan, there was a dearth of trained and skilled manpower; which if not promptly addressed, would see the industry overrun by quacks and foreign technicians.
The president noted that industries in developed climes have certification programmes which determine their skill levels.
“The solar industry has turned into an all-comers affair with the resultant effect of failed installations, wrong assessments and public apathy,” Akpoyibo said.
Also speaking, the Rector of the Institute, Prof. Magnus Onuoha, said that with the certification, no company, either local or foreign, would have the excuse that there were no trained or skilled technicians in the solar energy space in Nigeria.
Onuoha, a renowned green economist, carbon markets and renewable energy specialist, said that the certification would also provide an opportunity to continuous up-skilling and re-skilling capacity in the industry.
“The NID for Solar Technology is a practical based four semesters programme; two year diploma programme conceptualised as a school to work programme, whereby training is undertaken with a bent toward proffering easily transferable, replicable and implementable skills in the solar energy industry in Nigeria.
“This programme which will soon commence is offered by the Asteven Energy Institute, the only training centre accredited by the NBTE in Nigeria,” Onuoha said.
He added that the NID programme class is restricted to 30 students to ensure full scale training and impartation of skills; with JAMB/UTME score of 100 required for admission.
A representative of the NBTE, Mr Donald Odiyoma, said that the NBTE was the only organisation entitled by the law to assess and accredit enterprise innovation centres.
The session ended with a commitment by the Governing Council of the school to sponsor 10 students for the NID programme while individual sponsorships were committed to by other professionals present.
They include Dr Segun Adaju, the immediate Past President of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria; Dr Paul Abolo, the Chief Executive Officer of Ecologistics and Motunrayo Salami, a strategic development expert.
In attendance at the session were representatives from the NBTE, Diamond Initiatives, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Rural Electrification Agency, Council for Renewable Energy Nigeria, Sosai Energies and Blue Camel Solar
Others included: Nigeria’s Shippers Association, Solar Energy Society of Nigeria, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Associations Alliance, Sustainable Energy Practitioners Association of Nigeria and Women in Renewable Energy Association. (NAN)