By Gbenga Oke
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the Nigerian Institute of Welding, NIW, have partnered to train over 3,000 competent welders in the Niger Delta for the next three years.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos,Â President of NIW, Chief Iyobosa Edebiri, stated that the NDDC and NIW came together to solve the problems confronting youths in the Niger Delta.
According to him,Â â€œin 2007, the NDDC and NIW entered into an agreement to develop the welding skills of youths in the Niger Delta and our first task was to salvage the already existing welder training programme that the commission was running at that time and with the intervention of NIW, over 1920 youths were trained to the level of structural welding.
From the experience gathered during the programme, the NDDC and NIW deliberated together over a period of time to review the programme and work out ways to improve on future training programmes.â€
Speaking on the importance of such training, he saidÂ â€œthis training will serve as part of the post- amnesty programme of the federal government and the commissionâ€™s initiative to address the problems of the youths in the Niger Delta and that is why the commission has concluded plans to train over 3,000 competent welders in the next three years in partnership with Petroleum Training Institute and the Southern Africa Institute of Welding.
â€œTo further strengthen the initiative, the NDDC provided 15 multi-purpose welding machines and a 500KVA generating set to the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, as this will help in no small way to meet the requirements in terms of qualitative training of weldersâ€ he stated.
Speaking further, Edebiri explained â€œthe management of the commission reasoning with NIW realized that to do this successfully, there must be available competent trainers, hence the commission approved the training of 25 welding technicians to IIW International welding practitioners level and the training will be conducted at the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun for a period of 3months and it is expected on qualifying, these candidates will be available to train the Niger Delta youths to acquire competence in structural and pipe welding and with this effort, the Niger Delta youths can now be engaged in high profile construction works in pipeline, civil construction, manufacturing, production and maintenance servicesâ€.
He however noted â€œwe believe that with this development, Nigeria will be positioning itself to face the realization of vision 20-2020 and finally end youths um-employment in the Niger Delta regionâ€.