ㄑ In Depth

Nigerian engineers study in China to drive power sector back home

International Exchanges
Sixty Nigerian engineers departed the West African nation and traveled over 10,000 km to learn the transformer manufacturing in China.

XinhuaUpdated: October 30, 2019

"Teaching how to fish" instead of "giving a fish"

The story of 60 engineers has attracted attention in Nigeria. Recently, Kierian Umeayo, a reporter from the Nigerian Television Authority, traveled to Anshan to make a documentary about these trainees.

"We are going to tell the audience that these 60 engineers are not here as tourists. They are studying hard," he said, hoping them to teach more Nigerians to make, install and maintain transformers.

After returning to Nigeria, the engineers will work in an industrial park, which includes three transformer production plants and associated equipment factories.

With a total investment of 300 million U.S. dollars, the park was jointly constructed by Huaye Group and China Great Wall Industry Corporation.

"The completion of the industrial park will change Nigeria's inability to produce power transmission and transformation equipment on its own, and the products will also be exported to other African countries," said Ma Liming, chairman of Huaye Group.

As the ancient proverb says: "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Ma said this training is only the initial stage of the program, and more Nigerian talents will study in China in the future.

Nigerian engineers study during a training session in a factory of Huaye Group in the city of Anshan, northeast China's Liaoning province, Oct. 14, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

It has been a year since China proposed eight major initiatives at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to elevate cooperation between the world's largest developing country and the largest developing continent.

The eight initiatives cover various fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, healthcare, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

China decided to work with Africa to set up 10 Luban workshops, a program designed to provide state-of-the-art technical and vocational training, on the continent, the first of which has already been established and opened in Djibouti.

Nigerian presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu said Nigeria has suffered a long-term deficit in power supply, which is a major obstacle in the country's way of economic diversification.

"We expect the engineers to bring home what they have learned in China, and I'm sure they will do something in manufacturing indigenous electric devices and alleviating power shortage of the country," Shehu said.

As a father of two, Ajayi calls his family every day. He told his kids that he had a mission -- to create a life without electric generators for the family, and he believes that day will come soon.

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