Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board

NCDMB boss canvasses support for NASENI, seeks well-articulated end-to-end thinking for trainings

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, has called for appropriate level of support for the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in its efforts to achieve institutional objectives vital to national development.

NASENI, according to the NCDMB boss, has as key mandate the promotion of “research and development in the areas of science, engineering, and technology” as well as “nurturing an appropriate and dynamic science and engineering infrastructure base for achieving home-initiated and home-sustained industrialization for Nigeria.”

Engr. Wabote was speaking on Tuesday as Chairman at the opening of a NASENI-sponsored Skill Acquisition Training and Youth Empowerment programme themed “Modern Methods of Electrical Installations and Maintenance.” He noted that technical skills such as “electrical installations and maintenance are critical to the industrialization of a nation” and that they are “in high demand in the oil and gas industry and other sectors of the economy.”

While commending NASENI for such training programmes, given their potential to significantly address the challenge of unemployment in a country with a huge youth population, he said collaboration is most desirable among “Government agencies such as the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Petroleum Training Institute  (PTI), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)” and several others.

He was, however, emphatic that initiatives of the sort must be thought through, end-to-end, to achieve the objectives, citing the decay and abandonment of some 2,000 vocational training centres in three states of the Niger Delta as an example of poor planning. According to him, “With the enormous challenges at hand, NCDMB welcomes all initiatives to tackle the issues from all angles insofar as the end results are clearly thought out so that we are not just training for the sake of it.”

He drew the attention of the NASENI Management to NCDMB’s Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGaPS), stating that it is “one of the means to utilize the capacities being developed via trainings such as this.” He also highlighted the fact that NASENI’s mandate “closely aligns with that of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, whose mandate is to develop local capacities and capabilities across the oil and gas value chain.”

“To date,” the NCDMB boss continued, “we have delivered over 13 million training manhours and continue to carry out targeted interventions in our secondary schools, vocational institutions, and universities,” pointing out that “Nigeria is leading Africa in terms of human capacity development in the oil and gas industry.”

The Special Guest of Honour at the event, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, immediate past President of Nigeria, corroborated the facts reeled out by the NCDMB boss on the spectacular performance of the Board and stated that his invitation to Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote to chair the occasion was based on that awareness.

The former President, who has the credit for signing the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, 2010, into law, expressed his desire to see the two agencies collaborate closely to advance the nation’s developmental aspirations. He admonished the trainees to make the best use of the skills imparted as well as the start-up packs provided, while urging NCDMB and NASENI to work hard so they could “establish an excellent vocational training/resource centre in Bayelsa State.”

The Chief Host, Governor Douye Diri, represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, thanked NASENI for organising a training in critical skill areas in the State, while expressing his expectation that human capacity development programmes “should be deliberate and well-articulated.” According to him, “ad hoc measures address emergencies,” and would be inappropriate for the type of objectives that agencies like NASENI seek to achieve. “Half measures cannot give a full result,” he added.

The Governor challenged the trainees to take advantage of the training programme and develop the capacity for self-improvement and self-employment. He advised against the common tendencies of trainees to sell off start-up packs, pointing out that “A wise man plants his seed” while a fool dispenses with his for immediate gratification.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NASENI, Mrs. Nonyem Onyechi, thanked the former President, Dr. Jonathan, for returning the agency to The Presidency and thus freeing it from civil service bureaucracy. She said NASENI now “operates optimally.”

According to her the ongoing five-day training, which has 100 youths from the three senatorial districts of Bayelsa State participating, is the second in the South South. The training, she empasised, is to prepare Nigeria and her population for the next phase of the Industrial Revolution in which the technologies are those of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, autonomous vehicles, 5G and the like.

The training programme, which started on 9 May, comes to an end on 13 May.

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