Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has put smiles on the faces of Nigerians who have been yearning for qualitative training in the oil and gas sector by inaugurating a world-class oil and gas training centre, Akwa Ibom Oil and Gas Training and Research Centre.
Represented by Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government (SSG), Sir Etekamba Umoren, at the event which took place at the Ibom E-Library, the Governor said the Centre will offer first class training to trainees, which according to him, will in turn put an end to capital flight, adding that oil companies will henceforth train their staff at the Centre.
Governor Emmanuel, who hinted that the feat was the collaborative efforts of the State Government and Halliburton Nigeria, expressed optimism that the Centre will train youths of the state to become employable in the highly competitive and lucrative oil and gas sector.
He listed some of the programmes that will available for study at the Centre to include Integrating Geosciences, Field Development Planning Solutions, Drilling and Completions Engineering, Reservoir Management and Engineering, Production Optimization and Engineering Solutions, Digital Oil Field solution, Digital Pipeline Monitoring, Well Intervention Solutions, E&P Data Management Platform Solutions, Executive Management and Business Leadership Development, HSEQ, Fabrication, Welding and Plumbing, Electrical Technology, Mechanical Engineering and Software Engineering.
Speaking, Chairman of the House Committee on Local Content in the House of Representatives, Mr. Emmanuel Ekon, said the centre is the fruit of his advocacy that called on oil companies to respect local content and do training in Nigeria to give opportunities to Nigerians to participate optimally in the oil sector.
The National Assemblyman further hinted that through the intervention of his Committee, an oil/gas park will be situated in ONNA and a Sea-Diving Facility will be built at Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron to boost oil and gas training in Akwa Ibom youths.
In his remarks, the host and Commissioner for Science and Technology, Professor Nse Essien, said the Centre will deepen capacity building efforts, bridge skill gaps and ensure that Nigerians fully partake in all aspects of the oil and gas value chain.
“In the last 50 years, Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Operations recorded an estimated $380 billion dollars in capital flight, in the areas of fabrication, engineering, procurement and training. This translates to an estimated job lost opportunities of over 2 million. To redress this trend, the Federal Government set up the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) which is the vanguard in localizing inputs in our oil and gas operations. The setting up of this Training centre is our modest effort to join hands with NCDMB to indigenize our oil and gas operations for job and wealth creation, optimal benefits of Nigerians and to arrest capital flight,” Professor Essien explained.
The Science and Technology Commissioner, who thanked the Governor for establishing the Centre, said the centre will train best brains that will boost the manpower level in the oil/gas sector.
In an address, the Area Vice President/Managing Director, Halliburton Nigeria, Mr. Henry Oki, who was represented by the Head of Business in Nigeria, West and East Africa, Mr. Okey Okoli, lauded the Akwa Ibom State Government and saidt the state will enjoy his company’s vision to always provide solutions to industry challenges, adding that the E-library facility offers the right environment for training.
The Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Mr. Simbi Wabote represented by the Head, Corporate Affairs and Logistics, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu, in his goodwill message, promised that NCDMB will ensure that the Centre has sufficient and qualified trainers at all time; build and sustain capacity in the oil and gas sector.
In another goodwill message, the President of Oil and Gas Trainers Association, Dr. Mayowa Afe, commended the partnership between Akwa Ibom State Government and Halliburton in setting up the centre saying that with such a centre, Nigerians do not need to go abroad and spend millions of dollars to acquire training.
Highpoint of the ceremony was a tour of the facility by the Governor and other dignitaries.