GOV. EMMANUEL CALLS FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF VOCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CENTRES IN OIL BEARING COMMUNITIES
Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel has called for collaboration among International Oil Corporations for the establishment of Vocational Skill Development Centers to facilitate local content development and address manpower needs in the oil and gas industry.
Governor Emmanuel stated this at the opening ceremony of Nigeria Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair 2017 tagged "Advancing Indigenous Participation in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry for National Development", held at Le Meridien Ibom Hotel And Golf Resort, Uyo.
Governor Emmanuel who observed that there is no standard fabrication yard in the Niger Delta region, announced plans to partner some European institutions to provide medium term Engineering vocational centres to boost local content capacity.
According to him "We've paid so much lip service to capacity building in the oil and gas over the years...starting with the Niger Delta region, I'm yet to see a major fabrication yard that can meet most of the content we are talking about "
He described the theme of the fair as apt and indicated the state's preparedness to partner with International Oil Corporations and Stakeholders in the Oil and Gas Industry to make the exhibition an annual event in the state assuring that his administration would put in place adequate security, transparent Legislation and reliable infrastructure to facilitate the hosting of the fair .
"Let me thank the Nigerian Content and Monitoring Board for choosing to host this event in Akwa Ibom. We assure the Hon. Minster, International Oil Companies that the state will partner with you to make this event an annual event in the state. It's our commitment.
"We know the three things that can bring you here and be rest assured that we would provide security, transparent legislation and reliable infrastructure to host this fair every year in the state "
While commending the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board for the choice of the state for the Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair 2017 , the Governor spoke of the massive participation of operators of oil and gas Industry saying that the turn out was impressive.
Governor Emmanuel urged the management of International oil Corporations to accept to relocate their operational Headquarters to Akwa Ibom assuring them of a standard office complex and safety.
He pointed out that more than thirteen oil servicing companies are operating without an office in the state to provide employment and boost the state's revenue profile and called on the oil Companies to relocate their operational Headquarters to their areas of Operation.
He made a case for the enforcement of Local content law pointing out that the Nigerian Content development policy should benefit the host communities which suffer the impact of Oil exploration.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu indicated that the fair was organised to showcase opportunities in the upstream, mainstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas Industry.
He commended the development strides in the state stating that Governor Emmanuel is committed to all round development of the state.
The Secretary Local Content and Monitoring Board Engr. Simbi Wabote, said that the choice of Akwa Ibom for the maiden edition of the fair is appropriate considering the fact that the state is the largest producer of Oil in the country.
He noted that the fair would provide opportunity for multinational companies to link up and utilise opportunities in the oil and gas Industry as well as provide avenue for the Nigerian government to strategise towards exploiting available opportunities in the oil and gas Industry.
Other speakers at the event including Senator Bassey Albert, House of Representatives member Mr Emmanuel Ekon and Former Minister of Housing Chief Ndueso Essien, called for integration and empowerment of the host communities.
Senator Bassey Albert said that the Senate will ensure the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill as well as provide adequate legislation for the implementation of the Local content law.
At the fair, Governor Emmanuel in company of Dr Ibe Kachikwu were conducted round the exhibition stands mounted by the participating oil and gas Industry.
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