TOKTEN: Nigerian experts return to fix critical economic sectors

By Mark Mayah and Adeola Yusuf , Lagos

Some 900 Nigerian professionals living abroad have agreed to return home to provide technical assistance in the critical sectors of the economy, including power.

They are expected to arrive by February 24 to participate in a consultancy scheme jointly organised by the government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The scheme – which agreement was signed in Abuja in October last year – begins in March and ends two years after.

But the returnees will work for between two weeks and three months at a time.

The scheme, called “Transfer of knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals’’ (TOKTEN), has $1 million (N150 million) provided for it by the UNDP for the travelling and living expenses of the participants.

The experts are drawn from the economic, technological, iron and steel, agriculture, social, medical, and other fields, according to a Presidency source.

‘’No salaries or honourarium will be paid to them but the recognition by their motherland and the United Nations sponsorship are to serve as motivation,’’ the source said.

The UNDP will monitor the scheme through its project services office while the Ministry of Finance will implement it.

The Nigerian professionals are coming from Asia, France, United States, Russia, Britain, Canada, Israel, Japan, Cuba, and other countries.

The source disclosed that the UNDP had appealed to ministries and parastatals to identify Nigerians abroad who can fill on a temporary basis critical gaps in their operations.

“The scheme, which is a bye-product of the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Power Reforms, will be implemented over a period of two years and if successful, there is great scope for expansion.”

The UNDP advised the Presidency to appoint for the scheme a Coordinator not lower than the rank of a Deputy Director.

TOKTEN aims to reduce the adverse effects of the brain drain, with expatriate Nigerians coming back home to provide advisory services at low cost.

They will have their work cut out, particularly in the power sector, where it has emerged that electricity generation has dropped about 300 megawatts (mw) to 3200 mw in less than one month after hitting 3,500 mw.

The Power Task Force disclosed this in a document obtained at the weekend, which stressed that this makes imminent the full implementation of the power sector reform.

Power generation notched 3,500 mw December last year, and the task force, headed by Bart Nnaji, declared that it is now “obvious that power generation has not developed as required” and “there exists ample investment opportunities in the power generation sector.”

The power generation gap of 26,561 mw is expected to be closed by 2020, the report enthused.

“Consequently, an annual growth of approximately 3,000 mw is required. Post-2020, it is projected that the annual growth will reduce to approximately 1,500 mw, up to 2033.

“It is planned that this growth will be driven by the private sector. It is expected that the growth will be supported by a robust commercial market.”

The report noted the need for the refurbishment of existing power stations and subsequent expansion, as well as construction of new generation plants, provision of operations and maintenance services, and human capacity development.

It detailed power generation into the three sub-sectors: existing government facilities, Independent Power Projects (IPP), and National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP).

It noted that the Kainji power station built in 1968 with installed capacity of 760 mw, is generating 480 mw, the Jebba power station built in 1985 with installed capacity of 540 mw, is generating 450 mw, while the Shiroro hydroelectric Plc built in 1989 with installed capacity of 600 mw is generating 450 mw.

According to the document, Egbin built in 1986 with installed capacity of 1,320 mw, currently generates 1100 mw; Geregu built in 2007 with installed capacity of 414 mw, generates 276 mw; and Omotosho built in 2007 with installed capacity of 304 mw generates 76 mw.

Others are Olorunsogo built in 2008 with capacity for 304 mw, generates 76 mw; Delta Power built in 1966 (900 mw), generates 300 mw; Sapele Power built in 1978 (1,020 mw), generates 90 mw; and Afam built in 1963/2001 (726 mw), generates 60 mw.

Calabar thermal power station built in 1934 (6.6 mw), does not generate one single mw; likewise Oji River power station built in 1956 (10 mw).

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  1. More Information on TOKTEN.


  2. Who is the Project Manager for Nigeria?


  3. Dr. Daniel Okoro says:

    I will like to know more about TOKTEN. my area of specialization is Agricultural Education, Research and Statistics.
    Daniel Okoro, PhD.



  1. […] be the job of govt sef when even UNDP dey do our diaspora relations work? Tooo many questions!! source Some 900 Nigerian professionals living abroad have agreed to return home to provide technical […]


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