Assa North and Ohaji South gas projects in Imo State are being supported by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), which has begun a one-year professional and vocational training programme for 40 youths from the SPDC Joint Venture host communities.
“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.
According to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the training would take place at Mudiame University in Irrua, Edo State, under the supervision of the NCDMB.
“The training is part of SPDC JV’s contribution to building 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.”
Adebanji Adekoya, who represented SPDC at the induction ceremony, explained that the trainees were selected from the host community cluster development boards, which included the communities of Assa, Ochia, Awarra, and Obile in Assa North, and Avu, Obosima, Obuomadike, Umunwaku, Ohoba, Obitti, and Umuapu in Ohaji/Egbema in Imo State.
Project management, welding, fitting, scaffolding, rigging and lifting are among the specialisations available to the trainees, according to him. Other areas of interest include carpentry, building technology, drafting, ICT, surveys, quality assurance, and safety training, among others.
Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, expressed his appreciation for the training, noting that it was “part of the country’s ambition to attain 70 percent local content retention in the oil and gas sector.”
Wabote, who was represented by Mrs. Angela Okoro, Manager, Human Capacity Development, National Capital Development and Management Board, stated,
“The agency is passionate about the project and would continue to strengthen human capability development in the sector.”
A number of opportunities are available to the host communities as a result of the project, which employs 60 percent of skilled and semi-skilled workers from the communities and more than ten percent of equipment operators who are also from the communities.