“I want to arm my people (youths of Mkpat Enin)with relevant technical skills needed to position them to take advantage of the local content quotas and slots in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and also be qualified to provide requisite manpower demands to function in the rapid industrialization taking place in Akwa Ibom state”.
Those were the words of Hon. Ekanem Brown, the Executive Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom state, while addressing about 210 youths who have been undergoing technical skills training on drilling, safety, and scaffolding, organized and sponsored by the Local Government Council in partnership with Philipco Engineering services.
According to the council Chairman, the vision of the training is to prepare a pool of skilled youths who are technically and mentally ready to take advantage of opportunities in the real sectors of the economy.
The four weeks training which began on the first week of July is held at the expansive Oil and Gas training center, NyaOdiong, a training facility owned by Mkpat Enin Local Government.
The training, executed by Philipco Engineering Services, a recognized technical training outfit, whose certification is recognized in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria had in attendance 95 trainees for scaffolding, 53 trainees for basic safety and 62 youths trained on drilling.
While presenting a brief talk on personal growth to the trainees, the council boss charged them to take the opportunity seriously, reminding them that such skills given to them on a platter of gold are well sought after in Nigeria’s growing economy and would have cost a fortune if they were to sponsor themselves for the training.
In his words “Today marks one of my most fulfilling days as a Local Government Chairman because I am teaching youths how to fish and preparing them for invaluable opportunities.
“In the past when opportunities and slots come knocking for some specialized technical skills like drilling, safety, pipeline welding, we usually lack qualified youths to take advantage of such opportunities. It was heartbreaking for me and I vowed to put an end to such. I am delighted that with this training, such can never happen again.
“My administration’s vision is to creat a pool of at least 500 skillful and energetic youths who are ready to provide technical assistance to industries whenever they are called upon. This, in my opinion, is the greatest empowerment I can give to my people”.
The Council boss also poured encomium on his predecessor, Hon. Ephraim Akpan for conceptualizing and building the training center. He pledged to ensure that Mkpat Enin people gain maximum benefits of the facility.
“I am also using this medium to woo International Oil companies, IOCs and government at all levels that Mkpat Enin LGA has a very massive training facility that is built to specification with 500 capacity hostel, workshops, offices and much more”. He added.
Also speaking, the Head of Service of the Local Government Area, Mr. Rafeal Otu who accompanied the Chairman to the event described the training exercise as a lifetime opportunity and best empowerment that could be given youths of this age.
“Mr. Chairman I’m happy that you have made economic empowerment and capacity building the heartbeat of your administration. This, in my opinion, is the best empowerment you can give to the youths and I’ll continue to give you administrative support in this regard”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the graduating trainees, Comr. Uwem Cletus said “Sir we are very happy that after the completion of this training center in 2015, your administration has put it to proper use.
We lack words to appreciate you and the partner Phislipco Engineering services for training over a hundred youth with skills that are highly-priced in many industries.
“I have been trained in scaffolding now I am not an unemployed youth, I am a contractor who can set up scaffolds of any height in any site that would contract me to do so.
“Sir, We are very excited that your administration has empowered us with skills that can feed us till we grow old, God bless you, sir”.
The training was coordinated by the Labour/Industrial Development, Oil and Gas Committee Mkpat Enin LGA, which is chaired by Mr. Ini Brown.
Hon. Ekanem Brown also led his entourage on an Inspection tour of the large training facility.
By Aniedi UKOENANG