A major leap toward establishing the Federal Government’s proposed Transformer Manufacturing plant and High voltage Testing Laboratory was recorded yesterday as Sixty (60) Engineers from the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) departed the country to China for Training.
The training programme for 60 Enginneers has the target to establish a fully indigenous Transformer plant to be operated and managed by Nigerians with local content as priority. The Transformer Manufacturing Plant and Testing Laboratory are to be located at the Power Equipment and Electrical Machinery Development Institute (PEEMADI), Okene, Kogi State. PEEMADI is one of the Institutes under NASENI.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CE of NASENI, Professor Mohammed Sani Haruna while addressing the trainees before leaving the country said he felt fulfilled that a new phase in the journey toward having Nigeria’s own Transformer manufacturing plant & High Voltage Testing Laboratory had opened with the departure to China of 60 Enginneers of NASENI .He said he was gratetful to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Science and Technology Dr.Ogbonnaya Onu for the confidence reposed in NASENI and its management to facilitate the project. He also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese Great Wall Industry Corporation(CGWIC) which is the major partner in the implementation of the project.
The Engineers, on completion of their trainings, are to return to Nigeria to deploy different specialisations which they acquired in China along manufacturing line of transformer plant and High-Voltage Testing Lab, including the production of components and spare parts, bolts and nuts, machines and other equipment used globally to drive the power sector.
According to Professor Haruna “this particular training is different from that which people normally go for overseas, but this one is targeted at not only obtaining capacities but actually to set up a plant which will produce components, spare parts, utilize Nigeria local materials and also to achieve domestication of the technology behind manufacturing of transformers and also the High-Voltage Testing Laboratory”.
Currently the production of transformers in the country is through assembling of parts, therefore they lack local contents. He said “the practice is for importers to bring components and transformer parts from other countries for assembly in Nigeria”. Professor Haruna said this mode of supply of Transformers to the market could not develop local content nor achieve indigenous mass of experts for the country. According to him, this practice has encouraged the absence of national standards for transformers which circulate at the local market.
He said the establishment of Nigeria’s own indigenous Transformers Manufacturing plant would remove such anomalies.
In 2013, NASENI, through the Federal Government signed an agreement with the Chinese Greatwall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), but the agreement could not be implemented until recently when the project received fresh boosts and supports coming from President Muhammadu Buhari and Dr.Ogbonnaya Onu-the Minister of Science and Technology.
The Chief Executive of NASENI disclosed that the first set of trainees amongst the 60 Engineers will return to Nigeria after completion of their training exercise in Four(4) months.