As part of the mandate of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to develop local content capacity in welding and fabrication in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, the Board in conjunction with the Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW) will be undertaking a visit to the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) and the Institut National De Plongee Professionnelle (INPP) an underwater welding training institute in Marseille, France this week.
Investigations showed that the visit was planned as welding and underwater diving activities are two critical areas of the oil and gas industry which Nigeria needs to development its competencies.
The President of the Nigerian Welding Institute, Dr. Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri, in a chat with newsmen in Lagos said that this is consequent upon the fact that the NCDMB in conjunction with International Oil Companies (IOCs) has been working to build capacity in the NIW to meet international standard as required by the federal government in order to fully domesticate welding activities in-country.
Said he: “One of such efforts led to the support from the NNPC/Shell joint venture under a Shell company subsidiary SNEPCO, which completed the NIW laboratory for weld testing and material analysis at the NIW Centre of Excellence for Welding Engineering and Technology located in Obayantor, Benin City, Edo state; one of the best of such laboratories in Africa.
He also stressed that “the federal government through the NCDMB has approved a benchmarking process to benchmark the institute against global best practices,” a process which requires that the NIW operates at the highest international standard.
Edebiri said that the reason for visiting the Southern African Institute of Welding was because it has a facility that competes with the best in the world apart from being one of the founding members of the International Institute of Welding (IIW); and has been consistent in meeting with international standards. He said, under the sponsorship of PTDF, Nigerian Institute of Welding has carried numerous training programs at SAIW as part of the capacity building initiative of the federal government.
According to Edebiri, the NCDMB concern for welding and fabrication stems from the fact that fabrication accounts for over 80 percent of activities in the oil and gas industry while welding accounts for about 75per cent of the fabrication content, and it is one key area where Nigeria needs to build capacity and attain full domestication in-country
Edebiri disclosed that fabrication accounts for about 75 percent of oil and gas facilities “from drilling process with the use of drill pipes through the extraction of hydrocarbon from the oil with casing pipes and transportation of products to processing facilities and to end users; not excluding the facilities for storage of crude oil and finished products.”
He said that the tour will expose both officials of the NCDMB and the NIW to the needs and requirements that will boost Nigerians standing in welding and fabrication that will meet the needed requirement by the oil and gas industry.