LEADING energy company, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has commenced a one-year professional and vocational training for 40 youths from the SPDC Joint Venture host communities of the Assa North and Ohaji South gas project in Imo State.

“The aim is to ready these youths, 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,” SPDC’s Country Head Corporate Relations, Igo Weli, said.

The training is supervised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and is taking place at the Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo State.

Weli said, “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 NCDMB to boost the capacity of communities where oil projects are situated.”

Represented at the induction ceremony last week by SPDC Manager, Projects and Opportunities, Dr. Adebanji Adekoya, Weli said 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 in Imo State.

The trainees will specialise in project management, welding, fitting, scaffolding, rigging and lifting, electrical installations, electrical engineering, carpentry, building technology, drafting, ICT, surveys, quality and safety training.

The Assa North-Ohaji South Gas Project is the most advanced of the seven critical gas projects by the Federal Government of Nigeria. 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.

Speaking at the induction, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Simbi Wabote commended the training and described it as “part of the country’s aspiration to achieve 70 percent local content retention in the oil and gas sector.”

Wabote, who was represented by the NCDMB Manager, Human Capacity Development, Mrs. Angela Okoro, said, “The agency is passionate about the project and would continue to strengthen human capability development in the sector.”

The training is one of the opportunities offered by the project to the host communities where 60 percent of skilled and semi-skilled workers are from the communities and more than 10 percent of equipment operators are also locals.

Located approximately 25 kilometres outside Owerri, the Imo State capital, the Assah North-Ohaji South Gas project, 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. The project scope includes drilling of six wells, construction of a primary treatment facility and gas evacuation pipeline in a unitised field between SPDC JV’s OML 21 and SEPLAT JV’s OML 53.

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