-By Victoria Opeyemi
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony of the technical skills acquisition program for youths in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Managing Director, Oriental Energy Resources Limited, Mr. Mustafa Indimi, said the program was initiated in 2011 based on the outcome of a community need assessment exercise.
He revealed that between 2011 and 2014, the company partnered with several training centres in Akwa Ibom State to train youths and women from communities in Mbo Local Government Area. They were equipped with a variety of vocational and technical skills including: catering and hospitality management, welding and fabrication, electrical and instrumentation, fashion and design, carpentry and furniture, hairdressing and hat making.
Indimi stated further that graduates of these initiatives were further empowered with entrepreneurship training, starter packs and seed funds to grow their micro-enterprises. Several success stories were recorded during the period under review. This is evident in the number of graduates who established their own businesses or gained employment, both within and outside Nigeria.
The Managing Director of Oriental Energy Resources explained that based on the above the company responded to requests by various stakeholder groups for the re-introduction of program. After due consultations with Effiat and Mbo Community Representative Committees, it was jointly decided that this year’s program will focus on Tig and Argon Welding; Structural Welding; Pipe Fitting; Scaffolding as well as Blasting and Painting.
Oriental Energy’s decision to sponsor this training stems from the fact capacity building in welding and fabrication is a veritable platform for contributing to the development of local content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
In specific terms, welding and fabrication accounts for a significant percentage of activities in oil and gas facilities. This includes the drilling process using drill pipes; the extraction of hydrocarbon using casing pipes; transportation to storage and processing facilities as well as transportation of finished products to end-users and customers. This value chain requires the services and expertise of well-trained professionals in the focus areas of Tig and Argon Welding; Structural Welding; Pipe Fitting; Scaffolding as well as Blasting and Painting.
A total of fifteen (15) trainees were selected by Effiat and Mbo Community Representative Committees for the one-year program. All the trainees have successfully completed the orientation and documentation phase at Azimarine Training and Fabrication Facilities in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State.
Oriental Energy will bear the full cost of the one-year training. This consists of the training fees; monthly stipends; personal protection equipment; accommodation, feeding; study manuals and other required materials. On successful completion of the training, different certifications will be applicable, depending on the choice of specialization by each trainee. These are:
Welding: Welding Performance Qualification Report (WPQR) will be issued by a certified Welding Inspector, Pipe Fitting: Certificate of Competency – Trade Test 1, 2 or 3, Scaffolding: Certificate of Competency will be issued by a certified Scaffold Inspector and Blasting and Painting: Certificate of Competency will be issued by the certified Coating Inspector with NACE Level 1, 2 & 3.
Given the importance and scale of investment in this program, it is expected that all the trainees to be of exemplary conduct and strictly comply with the training schedules and regulations as laid down by the training provider.
According to Indimi, the social investments are based on the philosophy of creating positive sustainable footprints through projects and programs that improve the quality of life in the communities.
“From January 2021, till today, we have made significant contributions to sustainable community development in Mbo Local Government Area in particular, and Akwa Ibom State in general. This is evident in the projects and programs we have successfully completed.”
He said from 1st to 5th November, a Community Health Outreach was held at the Primary Health Centre, Ebughu. A total of 4,486 beneficiaries receiving various medical services free of any charge. The company also handed over a state-of-art science laboratory complex at Community Grammar School, Ebughu in March 2021.
In addition, Oriental Energy Resources sponsored a one-week capacity building program on Sustainable Community Development Planning and Management for Effiat and Mbo Community Representative Committees which was held in May 2021.
Furthermore, the company completed the refurbishment and supply of furniture for Mbo Paramount Ruler’s Palace, Ebughu in June 2021. Its 2021 University Scholarship award process is ongoing and beneficiaries will be announced by end of December 2021.
“In the spirit of good neighbourliness, the year 2021 will end on a very good note the communities and people of Mbo Local Government Area as we have concluded arrangements for the supply, delivery and distribution of Christmas food items to them.’
Indimi thanked community stakeholders as well as representatives of Akwa Ibom State Government for honouring the company’s invitation to event. He appreciate members of Effiat and Mbo Community Representative Committees for partnering with the company to ensure sustainable community development in Mbo Local Government Area.
In his words, “We are grateful to Azimarine General and Services Limited for working diligently with us to ensure the training commences as scheduled. Finally, we extend our best wishes to the trainees as they embark on the program, which we believe will change their fortunes.”