A global group of energy and petrochemicals companies operating in Nigeria, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, said it has kicked off a one-year professional and vocational training for at least 40 youths from the company’s Joint Venture host communities of the Assa North and Ohaji South gas project in Imo State.

According to a statement by its Media Relations Manager, Bamidele Odugbesan, the SPDC Country Head Corporate Relations, Igo Weli, said that “The training is part of SPDC JV’s contribution to build the capacity of the people of our host communities of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo state and is the outcome of a recommendation by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB to boost the capacity of communities where oil projects are situated.”

Weli who noted that the aim of the training is to get the youths ready, “Not only for opportunities in the operations of the Assa North and Ohaji South gas development project but also in the entire Nigerian gas development value chain,” stated that the training which is taking place at the Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo State is supervised by the NCDMB.

Speaking at the induction ceremony of the trainees recently, Weli who was represented by the SPDC Manager of Projects and Opportunities, Dr. Adebanji Adekoya, explained that the trainees were selected from the host community cluster development boards comprising Assa, Ochia, Awarra and Obile in Assa North, and Avu, Obosima, Obuomadike, Umunwaku, Ohoba, Obitti and Umuapu in Ohaji/Egbema of the State.

He further explained that the trainees will specialize in project management, welding, fitting, scaffolding, rigging and lifting, electrical installations, electrical engineering, carpentry, building technology, drafting, ICT, surveys, quality and safety training.

According to him, the Assa North-Ohaji South Gas Project is the most advanced of the seven critical gas projects by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as the project is at the heart of Nigeria’s National Gas Master Plan aspirations to grow indigenous domestic gas market for additional power and industrial projects.

Also speaking during the induction, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote applauded the SPDC for the training. He described it as “Part of the country’s aspiration to achieve 70% local content retention in the oil and gas sector.”

Engr. Wabote, who was represented by the Board’s Manager of Human Capacity Development, Mrs. Angela Okoro, also said that, “The Board is passionate about the project and would continue to strengthen human capability development in the sector.”

It could be noted that the training is one of the opportunities offered by the company to its host communities where 60% of skilled and semi-skilled workers are from the communities and more than 10% of equipment operators are also locals.

According to the leading energy company, the Assah North-Ohaji South Gas project which is located approximately 25 kilometres outside Owerri, the Imo State capital, on completion, will deliver 300 standard cubic feet of gas per day to the domestic gas market and sell 20kbpd of condensate to a nearby refinery.

It also revealed that the project scope includes drilling of six wells, construction of a primary treatment facility and gas evacuation pipeline in a unitized field between SPDC JV’s OML 21 and SEPLAT JV’s OML 53.

By Sunday Elom N

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