The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has commended TotalEnergies Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited for embarking on infrastructural upgrade of the Government Technical College (GTC), Rivers State.
The projects include the construction of technical workshop, 200-bed hostel, and 25-blocks classroom and are in fulfillment of TotalEnergies’ commitment to the NCDMB’s human capital development programmes.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote confirmed that the Board had developed a guideline that allocates 60 percent of the Human Capacity Development budget on major oil and gas projects to the strengthening of training institutions. Under the guideline, a large chunk of the HCD commitments on projects will be channeled towards the upgrade and provision of facilities in institutions that train relevant workforce for the oil and gas industry.
The remaining percentages of the HCD budget will be applied to other human capacity programmes, he said.
The Executive Secretary who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS), Mr. Patrick Daziba Obah, stressed that the Board has placed emphasis on human capital development. He underscored the key roles that technical, vocational education and training (TVET) play in the development of skilled craftsmen who are required for the delivery of projects in the oil and gas industry and the growth of Nigerian Content in the industry.
“The availability of skilled and qualified Nigerian craftsmen will reduce dependence on foreign artisans and reduce capital flight,” he said.
He enjoined TotalEnergies to ensure that all the projects at GTC Port Harcourt are completed in record time and to insist that world class industrial equipment are installed in the school, so the students can acquire the requisite skills that will make them ready for field operations. He also charged the company to ensure that there is a sustainability and maintenance plan in place to support the workshop, including the provision of vital spare parts for the machines to guarantee that the teachers and instructors are trained to use any equipment that will be installed in the school.
He urged the management, staff, and students of the school to extend their maximum support to the contractors handling the upgrade projects and to provide security for the workers on site. “The success of these projects depends on you”, he maintained.
The Executive Secretary also lauded the management of TotalEnergies for achieving first oil from the Ikike project, noting that the company has demonstrated true leadership of Nigerian Content development by continuing to invest in Nigeria and achieving great strides in Nigerian Content when other operators are divesting from fields in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, TotalEnergies, Mike Sangster explained that “the projects are designed to upgrade standard of infrastructure in the school, create good learning atmosphere, improve standard of living for the students and equip vocational students with life skills.”
Sangster who was represented by TotalEnergies’ Deputy Managing Director, JV Asset, Mr Guillaume Dulout, went on to note that “the project represents our full alignment with the initiatives of the NCDMB Board to develop technical expertise and professionalism in the Nigerian oil & gas sector.”
He disclosed that TotalEnergies’ Ikike project which had its investment decision in 2019 had achieved first oil recently and this was recorded without any lost time injury or incident and with significant local content milestones.
“As expected, the success recorded by Ikike demonstrates teamwork at its best. This is what TotalEnergies and our partners want to replicate as we deepen our collaboration with NCDMB in the area of technical education, with the ground breaking today.”
The NCDMB team to the ground-breaking event included the General Manager, Capacity Building Division, NCDMB, Dr Ama Ikuru and they visited the ongoing revamp of the Principal and Teachers quarters at the College, which is being sponsored by the Board.