By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
ABUJA â€” Nigeria has scaled the first major hurdle towards securing international recognition as a nwelding natio capable of producing certified welders for the oil and gas industry.
This followed the successful completion of a threemonth intensive training programme by 20 Nigerian welders at the South Africa Institute of Welding, under the welders training and certification programme of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).
The Nigerian content directives of the Federal Government mandate PTDF to train up to 2,500 Nigerian welders and fabricators in various welding skills up to certification level recognised by the International Institute of Welding which is the global standards and regulatory agency for welding.
It is only through such international certification that Nigerian welders are accepted to practise in the oil and gas industry.
To fast track the process, PTDF embarked on the Train-the-Trainers scheme by up skilling a core group of Nigerian welders with the requisite practical capabilities and global certification to enable them provide the required training of Nigerian welders under the PTDF welders training and certification programme.
At the graduation ceremony, held in the South African Institute of Welding, Johannesburg, 14 of the Nigerian welders who participated in the programme received the International Institute of Welding diploma as International Welding Practitioners. This authorises them to train other welders in Nigeria in different welding processes.
Six others received the International Welding Certificate in plate welding and fillet welding and were thus certified to train welders in any of the two a areas of proficiency.
Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Mr. Muttaqha Rabe Darma, said at the passing out ceremony, that the 20 Nigerian Welders, who would form the core of the Fundâ€™s Train-the-Trainers component of the Welders Training and Certification programme, were painstakingly selected through a strategic technical partnership with the Nigerian Institute of Welding.