'There's a lot of prospects in the petroleum and power sectors '
Mr. N Satish Reddy is the Vice Chairman of Aditya Educational Institutions Kakinada, India. During his second visit to Nigeria, he spoke to journalists about the institution and its link to the oil and gas sector, including investments in the nation’s power sector. Excerpt:
What is your main focus of coming to Nigeria this time around?
Initially, when I came last month for the first time to Nigeria, my main focus was on education. We want to recruit students to study in our organization back in India. I’ve been studying a lot of opportunities for the first two years and about 200 students have come to our schools. The Patrick Fernandez foundation has been doing well in charity and this made me to come down to Nigeria to meet with parents and students who are making plans to come to Aditya to study. Like in Enugu, we have gotten some parcels of land we want to start an ICT centre in the future, maybe in the next coming year or two. As things go on well we want to empower Nigerian youths to make sure they are in the right job once they complete their education. As you know, India is known as an ICT hub, but it is gradually moving to Africa and in fact Nigeria.
I also met a couple of Petroleum Companies who are ready to sponsor a couple of students. By giving us enough push like in the last academic year, we currently have over 50 students from Nigeria in various departments like Engineering, ICT, and Management.
Why the interest in the petroleum sector?
There is a lot of prospect in the petroleum and electrical sector in Nigeria. So, based on that idea, I have started to register two companies, one is by the name, Infigo and the other is Solice. The Infigo is an energy company basically in the Oil & Gas and Power sector.
Because in India, there is need for LPG, so we can export some to India from Nigeria. The power sector is also booming like never before and we thought we want to contribute our expertise, too. Solice Company will only be looking at the educational sector in Africa and in Nigeria.
And we will like to set up ICT centers in all parts of Nigeria, we are looking at empowering more Nigerian youths. These are the ways we our companies to bring benefits to the local communities. If things work out well with all the support, we can recreate what people have benefitted back in India’s educational system. We will set up India kind of schools here in Nigeria because we understand from parents and students that they have value and respect for the Indian school, especially as we have lots of migrants from India to Nigeria.
As you know, power is a challenge in Nigeria, which company are you going to use?
How do you intend to make impact in the power sector?
Going through the news and papers, I am attracted to what the Nigerian government is doing to improve Power. As you know the main source of power in Nigeria is from gas, a natural resource, so you don’t need to purchase. We also learn from the papers that the World Bank has come forward to give a lot of funding. I can utilize a lot of my contacts in India to come into the country to set up solar plants. I can equally get into the picture and influence them to get it installed at a lower cost for the development of the country.
Will your employees be coming from India?
No, our employees will be only from Nigeria. The first set will be from students that came from my school- by the time they’ll graduate from college, which may take about two years. If in these two years I’m able to set up the place, then I can recruit my own students and give them more job opportunities here in Nigeria. I can then talk with confidence because of the quality of training they have received from Aditya. It will also boast up my student placement from Nigeria and with time increase my chances of admitting more students from here.
What about the oil and gas investment in Nigeria
The world is talking about green energy and India is also part of this too. There is lot of scope about Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG. The Nigerian government is talking about using the LPG instead of using other gases. They want to make use of it in a big way. So we have found the natural resources in Nigeria and if we take the LPG to India it will help their economy and also help the Nigerian economy.
What will it take for an average Nigerian student to get admission into Aditya and what is the cost of tuition?
If you are looking at a course like Engineering, what we are looking at is $5,000 per year for four years that is a total of $20,000. Apart from tuition fees, what we charge for food and accommodation is $2,000. Again in this $5,000 if students are coming with good grades, we give them scholarships of between 15-20 per cent reductions. If they also make fantastic grades, we can give them up to about 30 per cent scholarship reductions.
What is your selling point, what makes Aditya different?
The first thing is discipline. Because that’s the motto of what my father started. So my younger brother and I are going ahead with it. What we believe in is that with discipline, everything will go well. That’s what we train students on, it will make them better, and they’ll produce good results and go places in the future.
What kind of courses does your university offer?
We offer in simple terms, the kindergarten and A’ levels. Three years programs like BSc. in Sciences, Management, four years in Engineering, Pharmacy, masters programs and PHD programmes.