By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT-HARCOURTâ€” The Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, has flagged off itsÂ training programme forÂ youths in pipe welding.
Speaking at the event in Port Harcourt, Executive Secretary of the agency, Engr. Muttaqha Rabe Darma, said 2,500 youths would be trained up to Module C (Pipe welding) to meet the standard set by the International Institute of Welders.
Darma, who was represented by Manager, Planning, Research and Statistics of the PTDF, Prof. Dulu Appah, said the essence of the programme was to raise indigenous manpower to handle fabrication and welding activities for the oil, gas and allied industries.
â€œAs has been mentioned, this training is for Module A, but trainees who are successful in the qualifying examinations at the end of the programme are expected to proceed to the next module(s) until they attain the pipe level welding certification.
â€œIt is our hope that the success rate from this module of training will be encouraging enough to sustain the interest and justify the huge financial implications the fund has had to bear in this regard,â€ he said.
Darma advised the trainees to be serious with the programme as several job opportunities abound in several sectors of the economy for them.
He said:Â â€œCareer opportunities abound in the Nigerian economy, notably in oil, gas, manufacturing, aviation, maritime and several other allied industries.
â€œI will implore you, therefore, to grab the offer by maximising the available opportunity to not only acquire the learning values, but also internalise the ability.â€
He assured that the PTDF would drive the training programme to a logical end, having provided accommodation for all trainees in addition to providing personal protection equipment.
(PPEâ€™s), tool boxes, lunch on site as well as paying each trainee a stipend of N10,000.00 monthly to augment feeding, transportation and general upkeep as a means of encouraging commitment and avoiding unnecessary distractions during the pendency of the programme,â€ he said.
On his part, President, Nigerian Institute of Welding,, Mr Solomon Edebiri, said under the arrangement with PTDF, 20 welding technicians had been trained in South Africa on international welding.
He said these ones would help train several others, adding that another batch of 10 welding technicians had also been trained as International welding specialists.Â They would in turn also raise others.
Edebiri also charged the new set of trainees to ensure they make good use of the opportunity.