15 Mbo youths benefit from Oriental’s technical skills acquisition programme
No fewer than fifteen youths drawn from the five communities in oil rich Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom State are proud beneficiaries of this year technical skills acquisition program bankrolled by indigenous oil giants, Oriental Energy Resources Limited. The one year training program would be conducted by Azimarine Training and Fabrication Facilities in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State, with focus on Tig and Argon Wielding, Structural Wielding, Pipe Fitting, Scaffolding as well as Blasting and Painting.
The flag off ceremony of the program which took place on Wednesday, December 15, at Emmjm Hotel and Suites, Uyo, attracted top functionaries within the state government and the oil sector, traditional institution, critical stakeholders from the communities, among others.
OERL’s Managing Director, Mustafa Indimi in his welcome addressed read by the Lead, Community and Government Relations, Dr. Uwem Ite, explained why the company decided to fund the program.
Hear him, ‘’Our decision to sponsor this training stems from the fact that capacity building in wielding and fabrication is a veritable platform for contribution to the development of local content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. In specific terms, wielding and fabrication accounts for a significant percentage of activities in oil and gas facilities. This includes the drilling process suing drill pipes, the extraction
of hydrocarbon using casing pipes, transportation to storage and processing facilities as well as transportation of finished products to end-users and customers. This value chain requires the services and expertise of well-trained professionals in the focus areas of Tig and Argon Wielding , Structural Wielding , Pipe Fitting , Scaffolding as well as Blasting and Painting.’’
Indimi disclosed that the program was initiated in 2011 based on the outcome of a community need assessment exercise and that the company partnered with several training centers in the state to train youths and women from the host communities between 2011 and 2014, and the beneficiaries were equipped with a variety of vocational and technical skills such as catering and hospitality management, wielding and fabrication, electrical and instrumentation, fashion and design, carpentry and furniture, hairdressing and hat making.
‘’The graduates of these initiatives were further empowered with entrepreneurial training, starter packs and seed funds to grow their micro-enterprises. Several success stories were recorded during the period under review. This is evident in the number of graduates who established their own businesses or gained employment both within and outside Nigeria’’, he said.
The Managing Director noted that the company’s social investments were driven by the philosophy of creating positive sustainable footprints through projects and program that improve the quality of life in the communities.
He stated that this year alone, Oriental has left indelible imprints in the local government area in particular and the state at large as evident in the execution of people’s oriented projects which include, the state-of-the art science laboratory complex at Community Grammar School, Ebughu, the refurbishment and supply of furniture for Mbo Paramount Ruler’s palace, Ebughu, , a one-week capacity building program on sustainable community development planning and management for Effiat and Mbo Community Representative Committees, a community health outreach at the Primary Health Center, Ebugu with well over 4,486 beneficiaries and the annual University scholarship award, among other welfare packages for the communities.
While thanking the state government, Azi marine and other stakeholders for their unalloyed support and partnership, he however, advised the trainees to exhibit exemplary conducts and rigorously follow the training timetable and guidelines as enunciated by the training provider.
Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John Etim, who was represented by a Director, Engineer Emmanuel Inyang, was full of praise for the company, which he said has lived up to its Corporate Social Responsibility to the communities and pledged to ensure that the company continues to enjoy peaceful working environment.
He said that the skills chosen for this year’s development program were well thought out as there were in line with the governor’s completion agenda of industrialization of the state, as according to him, welding will be key in the next two years up because of the emerging industries in Akwa Ibom state.
Similarly, Commissioner for Labour and Manpower Planning, Pastor Sunny Ibuot, who was represented by the Director of Administration, Mr. Sunday Umanah, commended the company for having the interests of the people at heart, urging other companies in the area to follow in the steps of Oriental.
He noted that the program was in line with the governor’s human capital development which is a major aspect of his ‘Completion Agenda’, and equally advised the trainees to take the training seriously, and get the certification to better their lives.
For his part, Chairman of Mbo local government area, Rt. Hon. Asukwo Eyo also painted the company in bright light, as Oriental’s efforts were top-tiers in the area, even as he lauded the governor for ensuring conducive environment for investors to operate in the state.
‘’Oriental Energy is a friendly company and Mbo people are happy to host the company because it is performing its CSR well as demanded of her to do. The company has embarked on so many projects, ranging from infrastructural to human capacity development in Mbo. So, we are very delighted to have the firm in our domain’’, he said.
He however appealed t the company to endeavour to increase the numbers of the trainees in the next batch of training, because there were a lot of companies coming to the state which will need skilled workers and counseled the trainees to make good use of the opportunity to improve their skills.
Also speaking, Zonal Coordinator, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Chief Uduak Obot toed the same line by applauding the company for the initiative to develop skills through the training, describing it as’’ part of your compliance to the local content law provision.’’
‘’We urge you to do more in the area of locating your office within the community of operations and state. We also want to see how you are doing in areas of employment of the host communities’ people; we also want to see how you are doing in area of award of contract to the host Communities and trainings. We only demand you to do much more. None of your operation should go on without informing the board. Interface much with the board’’, he said.
The Mbo monarch, Ogwong Okon Abang said, ‘’Oriental energy is very good to Mbo people. I commend them for the training, but I appeal to them to provide jobs for the trainees. I advice the you to pay attention to what you are being taught so that you can be useful to the society.’’
Deputy Managing, Azimarine, the training provider, Engineer Michael Abaka, while thanking the company and the people of Mbo for the opportunity given to company to train them, gave the assurance that it has the expertise to handle the training with dexterity.
One of the trainees who responded on behalf of his colleagues, Mark Asuquo from Efiat, expressed joy for the opportunity given to them to hone their skills , saying , ‘’you have given us a tool of success, but appeal to the company to make provision for employment. This will be an achievement which will make us responsible and contribute back to the society.’