Exec Sec visits PTI, promises support to facility upgrade

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Kesiye Wabote on Thursday visited the Petroleum Training Institute in Effurun, Delta to assess the state of facilities in the institution and determine areas the Board could assist to upgrade its operations.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary stated that the visit was in furtherance of the directive by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timpre Sylva during the recent Ministerial Retreat for active collaboration between the agencies within the ministry.
He promised that NCDMB would collaborate closely with PTI and add value with a view to bringing PTI back to its glorious days.
He recalled that PTI was set up to develop middle level manpower and technicians for the oil and gas sector, adding that the institution provided most of the production technicians, instrumentation and other skilled personnel in the industry before it began to decline.
Responding to the requests made by the Principal of PTI, Prof Sunny Iyuke, the Executive Secretary confirmed that the demands cut across some interventions of the NCDMB and would be looked into.
He however charged the management of PTI to articulate the demands properly and make them specific, with particular reference to the establishment of a centre of excellence within the institution.
Noting that NCDMB was already promoting Centres of Excellence on a number of areas, Wabote added that “it will be nice if PTI will articulate which area it wants to focus on so we can make it a foremost centre of excellence.”
He also promised to support PTI’s plan to establish a modular refinery which would serve as a teaching aid to students.
He argued that if Nigeria had focussed early on research and development with regards to refineries, the petroleum sector would have been to keep its three refineries working optimally.
According to him “Our refineries are suffering because we do not have perhaps the technical know-how to fix them and the manpower to research and innovate things and to keep them running.”
On the area of capacity building, Wabote said the state of the facilities in PTI will influence the Board’s decision to continue to send candidates for training and re-training to PTI or if the facilities would first need to be upgraded to the desired level.
Earlier in his speech, the Principal of PTI, Prof Sunny Iyuke stated that the Minister of State for Petroleum had charged NCDMB and PTI to collaborate in carrying out research and development on the use of local materials for production optimization and to produce locally formulated drilling fluids for enhanced recovery.
According to him, the Minister also charged the two bodies to serve as a data bank and training centre for the Nigerian oil refining and human capacity building; to carry out research and development on technology to curb smuggling of petroleum products across the nation’s borders and to develop enabling governance framework and regulatory environment on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Technology for Nigeria that will generate emission credits through projects in various sectors of the oil and gas industry and reduce greenhouse gas emission and flaring.
Other assignments from the Minister, Iyuke said, included building and operating a 2500 barrels per day modular refinery integrated with fluid catalytic cracker (FCC), to provide low level manpower certification and training for the focal areas of the oil industry and to be involved in basic skills development programmes.

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