By Etuka Sunday
Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has said that plans are ongoing to under its Entrepreneurship Development Training Program (EDTP) and Welding Training and Certification Programme (WTCP), to train more youths in the field of welding and fabrication in line with the federal government local content initiative.
The training according to the Fund would encourage them to participate in bridging the industry’s gap and help maintain the industry’s long-standing contribution to economic growth and sustainable development.
The Executive Secretary of the PTDF, Mr. Femi Ajayi who flagged up the Entrepreneurship Development Training Program (EDTP) at the Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna which is one of the training centers said that PTDF is motivated to build the future of the Nigerian youth through the programme based on the popular chine mantra of ” Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch a fish, and you feed him for life time.” A
Ajayi said, PTDF was not only showing them how to catch a fish but how to turn the fish around to make a living.
He revealed that, although over 1700 young Nigerians have been trained by the PTDF to qualify as International Welders Practitioners and Specialist in its basic advance welding programs, the sad reality is that getting employment in the industry is not as easy as it used to be for reasons beyond the control and mandate of the Fund hence the decision of the Fund to integrate the entrepreneurship development training programme as a compulsory component of the welders certification programme.
Mr. Femi Ajayi revealed that, the Fund kick started the programme in June 2014 with 249 trainees of batch A of Module B (Plateweld) as its first beneficiaries which heralded the birth of a new breed of young oil and gas entrepreneurs in the country and that, it is the success of the first programme that motivated the Fund to continue with the programme.
“The objective of the programme are threefold, to produce a critical mass of welders and fabricators with entrepreneurial knowledge required to meet Mr. President’s Nigerian content objective, upgrade capacity of in-country welding and fabrication facilities to globally acceptable standard and train and develop skills of a sizeable number of Nigerians in entrepreneurship capacity, knowledge and competencies to enable them become employers of labour” In his address, the Vice chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna Professor Musbau Akaji thanked the PTDF for its various intervention in the university and said that, the development has motivated the university to think of setting up a welding department in order to award degrees in welding which will promote the objective of providing skilled manpower to the oil and gas industry.
Bashir Mohammed Kabir, a trainee currently undergoing the Module B welding certification training at the Minna Centre commended the effort of the PTDF for integrating the entrepreneurship training to their training curriculum.