The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure says its plan to begin the local manufacturing of transformers has reached advanced stages.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, said this in Abuja on Wednesday at an orientation programme for 60 engineers and technicians that had been selected to travel to China to acquire the requisite skills for the manufacturing exercise.
Haruna said the 60 engineers upon return from China would form the nucleus of the Power Equipment and Electrical Machinery Development Institute, which NASENI established in Okene, Kogi State.
The NASENI boss said that the agency was partnering with the Great Wall Industry Corporation of China whose facilities and human resources would be deployed for the training programme that will last for different durations ranging from four and six months.
Upon return to Nigeria, Haruna said, the trainees would be involved in the installation of equipment at PEEMADI, Okene where the manufacturing plant would be installed.
Haruna said, “We are going to learn the modern way of using computer aided designing and manufacturing. It is not just China that supplies transformers to Nigeria; transformers used in Nigeria come from all countries so we don’t have national standard.
“If we learn the processes of design and production, we won’t continue producing their own models; we will design and produce our own Nigerian standard and models.
“The other component of this training is high voltage testing technology. There is no successful power industry without high voltage testing laboratory. Currently, for a lot of faults happening in our power system, samples are taken abroad for analysis.
“Now, this facility will be used to help the power industry and the independent power producers to ascertain their situation without having to pay heavily for testing and certification abroad. Already, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria come to us for certain services because of our competence and laboratory facilities.”
Speaking at the programme, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr Bitrus Nabasu, said that the local manufacture of the power equipment would reduce the level of capital flight in the country.
Nabasu said, “The intention of the Federal Government is clear. We have been talking of local content and once we don’t produce ourselves, we keep on importing. This depletes our foreign reserve.”