May 4, 2020

Prof. Sunny Iyuke transforming PTI to a global player in the oil and gas industry

Prof. Sunny Iyuke transforming PTI to a global player in the oil and gas industry

The Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) was set up by the enactment of Act No. 37 of 1972, and subsequently amended by Act No. 52 of 1975 and PTI Act CAP P16, 2004.

Consequently, the Act vested powers in the Petroleum Training Institute to train all levels of technical manpower required in the oil and gas sector. For over four decades, the PTI in tandem with its mandate as enshrined in the Act setting it up, has provided programmes of instruction and research in oil and gas technology for the training of technical manpower needed for oil production.

This has led to the development of skilled technicians, technologists, certified personnel, continuing professional development and skills acquisition training for youths in the oil producing communities of the Niger Delta.

The Institute is proudly fulfilling its mandate as enshrined in the Act. Since inception, it has turned out over 55,000 technicians and technologists besides tooling and retooling of companies personnel. It is impressive to note that there is no oil company without a PTI product in its employ.

The Institute attained the summit of its operations until recent changes and advancement in technology in the oil & gas sector, coupled with industry apathy towards the Institute. When it became imperative to reposition the Institute to be a global player in the oil and gas industry, Prof. Sunny Esayegbemu Iyuke was appointed as the Principal and Chief Executive of PTI, the foremost leading technological oil and gas institution in Nigeria in 2016; and charged with the mandate to reposition the Institute.

A Professor of Chemical and Process Engineering, a Nano technology expert and a former Head of department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering of the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, Prof. S. E. Iyuke has distinguished himself as a colossus in the academia.

On assumption of office 42 months ago, Prof. Iyuke was received with a standing ovation and wide acceptance by stakeholders in the Institute. Along with his formidable, committed and dedicated staff, he settled down to work with a strong determination to transform the institution to a world-class petroleum Institute. The Institute has recorded unprecedented feats in the following areas:


The first priority of Prof. Sunny Iyuke was to define a new learning culture by digitizing the operations of the Institute. The Institute has successfully deployed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in its operations, ranging from application to registration modules of all academic programmes. To boot, transcripts generation has now been automated and students can now view their semester results without visiting the examinations and records division of the Institute.


The quality of any institution of learning is reflected by the content of information across wide spectrum of research. In realization of this fact, the library services have been fully automated through the use of Posca Host and Alexandra. Digitized books in different research field are subscribed for. A well-furnished ICT e-library centre now host state-of-the-art facilities that enable students and staff to access digital contents, in addition to the books which are catalogued and circulated using the Alexandra platform.


To sustain the digitization of PTI, tagged DiPTI, a new baseline Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT) programme at the National Diploma level has been established to develop fit-for-purpose workforce for the digital age. The programme has been accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).


In recognition of the fact that the Institute cannot operate in isolation if it must attain the status of a global brand, Prof. Iyuke opened up the Institute for collaborations and partnerships with national and international institutions. He has engaged the following institutions at different levels in an attempt to upscale the Institute’s operations.

University of Witwatersrand, South Africa,

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Calgary, Canada, James Fisher and Sons PLC (JFD), Aberdeen in Scotland, United Kingdom.

Discussions are still ongoing to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with these institutions.

At the home front, the Institute is in collaboration with the University of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. Product of the relationship is the mounting of a Post Higher National Diploma (Post HND) in Engineering programmes leading to the award of Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) degree. About 265 students are currently enrolled in the programme.

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To fill in the skills gap in the emerging trends in the operations of the oil and gas industry, the Institute is into discussions with the National Universities Commission (NUC), for approval to offer Master of Technology (M.Tech) in Engineering to enhance research and development in the oil and gas industry.


Development of competent technical manpower is a cardinal policy of the Institute. The Institute combines both theory and practice to produce fit-for-purpose students for the oil and gas industry. Therefore, there is a massive application of state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to get students up to speed with their studies. To this end, an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) and Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrophotometer (GC-MS) were procured and installed.

Also, the Institute’s production drilling rig, the only one of its kind in West Africa, dedicated for students’ practical demonstrations and the flow station have been refurbished and is currently serving as the training hub for oil related practical courses for most Universities and Polytechnics in the country and beyond.


As oil exploration moves into deep waters, and to follow the tide, the Offshore Technology and Energy Centre (OTEC) was conceptualized to develop world-class professional divers that can dive 50 metres and beyond. The Centre is expected to produce bespoke and people focused human capacity development, engineering and technical services for the oil and gas sector.


One of the Institute’s mandate is to carry out research, seminars and conferences related to oil exploration and production. Unfortunately, over the years, research activities have been at its lowest ebb. Prof. Sunny Iyuke who has over 309 research publications to his credit, realises the importance of R&D and revivified the Directorate of Research and Development. Currently, the R&D is working on 15 research proposals for the oil & gas industry.

Under the Directorate, the Institute recently organised an International Conference on “Hydrocarbon and Science Technology” (ICHST) themed “Oil and Beyond Oil” with over 250 participants in attendance.


Prior to Prof. Iyuke’s assumption of duty, some Institute’s infrastructure were either in a sorry state or battered. It is amazing to see the transformation of these infrastructure. Visitors to the Institute are astonished at the massive infrastructural developments within the period under review. The Institute is glittering like the Thame-of-Westminster, with a 24-hour uninterrupted power supply to the admiration of stakeholders.

The following developmental projects are either completed or ongoing:

Remodelling and rehabilitation of the Administrative block, library building, and the reconstruction of the Academic block, which was fallen-in at the inception of this present management. The Academic block has been transformed from an ancient to modern block with well-spaced offices; Recreation and revamping of the swimming pool that was like the Dead Sea for almost two decades, to a functional Olympic size swimming pool for offshore survival training for students and sporting activities;

The Offshore Technology and Energy Centre (OTEC) at Aladja; equipped with a jetty, swimming pool, an helipad and a modern classroom and hostel for training of divers for deep water operations is currently undergoing rehabilitation.

Plans are underway to upgrade the PTI diving school to an internationally and IMCA recognized school by consortium of NNPC and SNEPCo;

It is expedient to mention that collaborative discussion is currently going on with James Fisher and Sons PLC (JFD), a leading world underwater capability company in Aberdeen, Scotland and the Petroleum Training Institute, on the establishment of an internationally recognized Diving School. The objectives of these discussions are for training, offering certifications and re-certifications of divers in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. This consultative discussion is anchored on a proposed funding initiative by the NNPC and SNEPCo.

Renovation of male and female students’ hostels and the retrieval and renovation of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) female hostel from failed contract;

In line with the vision of launching the Institute into the global oil & gas industry, the need for a befitting Conference Centre cannot be overemphasized. As a result, there was a massive refitting and rehabilitation of the Conference Hall, two blocks of 96 chalets, restaurant and other training blocks in the Conference Centre Complex.

The Institute’s Osubi Campus was lying fallow before now. The Campus has been recovered from its sinking state with the construction of inner roads, electrification and connection of the Campus to the national grid. The Skills Development Academy (SDA) which comprises Skills Acquisition, Corrosion Centre and Fire Academy has been established and are currently in full operation at the Osubi campus;

Construction of a 300 seater lecture theatre;

The completion of a 200 metre concrete single carriage way from the Institute’s clinic to Patani – Port Harcourt express way;

An extensive car parking lot has been constructed at the new lecture theatre block behind the Petroleum & Natural Gas Processing Department (PNGPD);

Reconstruction of PTI Sports Centre with a classical drainage system. Also, the annual staff games competition has been reintroduced and the sustenance of the Institute’s participation in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Games (NOGIG);

The Institute’s drainage Right of Way (RoW) up to Effurun river has been opened. This has enabled the evacuation of water in all Institute’s drainage systems, which in the past years has led to massive flooding of the Institute.

Procurement of a new 33KVA generator set as a back-up to the 24 hour electricity supply, amongst other projects.


In order to compliment the instructional and infrastructural upgrade of the Institute and in preparation for a global launch into the international oil & gas industry, the Institute embarked on ISO 9001/2015 certification of all its operations for global competitiveness. The certification processes are currently on-going.


Plans are underway for the Institute to become a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) centre for professionals in the oil & gas industry;

The Institute is envisaged to become a repository data bank and standards/specifications centre for the oil & gas industry;

The Institute is geared towards providing relevant technical know-how through adaptive research in the frontiers of alternative energy sources.


The Institute has received numerous awards of excellence for its immense contribution to the development of competent technical manpower for the oil and gas sector.

Also, PTI won the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Best Student Chapter Award in Nigeria – NAICE 2017, and the prestigious SPE Gold Standard and Designation Award in 2017.

In recognition of these feats recorded within a short breath,    the former Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu commended the Principal and Chief Executive, Prof. Sunny E. Iyuke for his outstanding performance. He maintained that the appointment of Prof. Iyuke was a step in the right direction; adding that President Muhammadu Buhari is satisfied with the performance of PTI.

Dr. Kachikwu was optimistic that Prof. Iyuke would transform the PTI to a global player in the oil and gas sector.


These feats could not have been achieved without the continued support from the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. We also acknowledge the support of other relevant ministries and parastatals of government.