By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
ABUJA -THE PetroleumÂ Technology Development Fund has announced that it has received an approval of about N15 billion for the upgrade of facilities at the 16-year-old National College of Petroleum Studies in Kaduna, Kaduna State.
The Federal Executive Council had recently approved the sum for contract awards by the PTDF for the project, which upon completion would be renamed as the Institute for Petroleum Policy and Strategy.
The Executive Secretary of PTDF, Engr. Muttaqha Rabe Darma, noted in a release on Friday signed by the Head, Press and External Relations in the PTDF, Mr. Kalu Otisi, that the project when completed will become the flagship institution for training senior management personnel in the industry to become general management staff. He said, â€œThis institute would represent to the industry what the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies is to the public service and the National Defence College to the military.â€
Darma further disclosed that the upgrade of the college, originally established by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in 1992, would involve equipping it with relevant facilities, including a world-class laboratory for analytical work and research in oil as gas.
The PTDF boss who had earlier visited the Governor of Kaduna State, Arc. Mohammed Nemadi Sambo, to seek his support for the project, equally appealed for the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for the 90 hectares of land provided by the state for the project.
Meanwhile, a target of 97 weeks from July 1, 2009 has been set for the completion and commissioning of the project to upgrade the National College of Petroleum Studies.
Darma noted at the signing of consultanty agreements for the supervision of the project by selected consultants, that the deadline was derived from the work plan submitted by the contractors considered for the award of contracts for the project.
He urged the consultants to apply professional skills to ensure that the project is delivered on time and in good quality.
Darma gave assurance that the Fund would not delay in paying contractors as and when certificates are raised having regard to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
The formal contract signing event for the project would be held at the project location in Kaduna on Tuesday (today), after which the foundation stone for the upgrade project would be laid to flag off construction work on the project.
The statement further noted that the Petroleum Technology Development Fund has so far spent about N17 billion in the educational, organizational and infrastructural upgrade of the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Warri for enhanced training of middle-level manpower for the industry.