By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”Rivers State government has trained no fewer than 120 youths in various skill acquisition programmes at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State.
The youths were trained in basic instrumentation, mechanical craft, mechanical fitting, plumbing and pipe fitting,Â block laying and concreting.
The training programmes, according to the government, are to increase the stateâ€™s chances of filling manpower requirements in the oil and gas industry in the Niger Delta.
Speaking at the passing out ceremony in Effurun, Governor Rotimi Amaechi described the occasion as a critical step towards the actualisation of governmentâ€™s policy of ensuring that adequate strategies were in place to domesticate oil and gas related technologies and to deploy same as a springboard for massive economic development.
He said the dearth of qualified manpower from the Niger Delta to occupy sensitive positions in the oil and gas industry was a fact and urged his colleaguesÂ to embark on deliberate policies of human capital development.
â€œI am encouraged that those in this first batch of 120 youths have distinguished themselves in the various programmes.
â€œThis is encouraging. I hope that you will make proper use of the skills you have so far acquired and make yourselves assets to Rivers State, â€ the governor charged the trainees.
Acting Principal of the PTI, Dr. Roland Akpojivi, stated that the institute, which was set up in the 70â€™s, had striven at all times to fulfill the dreams of its founding fathers.
Dr. Akpojivi stressed the need to train technicians to address youthsâ€™ skill shortage in the region, adding â€œwe say this because it is a task which must not be trivialized or handled with levity.â€
He charged the graduands not to rest on their oars, so that their training would not be in vain. â€œDo not lose focus of your dreams lest your vision will be blurred and you end up moving aimlessly in life,â€ he said.