Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago seek closer energy ties

03 August 2012, Sweetcrude, HOUSTON – THE need for development of closer ties in the area of energy was high on the agenda during bilateral discussions between Nigeria’s President Goodluck and Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in Port au Prince.

Jonathan was on a visit early in the week to the Island and reports said the discussions on Wednesday night upped the ante in Nigeria-Trinidad and Tobago collaboration.

Persad-Bissessar during the talks spoke of her country’s readiness to offer Nigeria technical consultation and assistance in the energy sector , through the Africa Energy Initiative.

She added that her country would provide technical experts to Nigeria on the proposed Izombe Gas Processing Project between the National Gas Company, the National Energy Corporation and Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited of Trinidad and Tobago and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation .

She further said: “The formation of the Africa-Trinidad and Tobago Steel Pan Development Company comes at an opportune time, as the Government of Trinidad and Tobago makes consistent efforts to export our cultural diversity worldwide.

“I understand that the vision of the company is to promote and develop the steel pan in Nigeria and throughout the African Continent. The explosive growth of youth steel bands and orchestras in Trinidad and Tobago are indicative of the steel pan’s appeal to the youth and its role as a motivating influence in their lives.”

Jonathan, in his response, reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to promoting the economic ties beneficial to both countries and enhance South-south cooperation.

He emphasised that: “We believe that providing infrastructures alone will not stop militancy in the Niger Delta, human beings must be developed and trained so that they will play positive role in the society in the oil industry.

“And the first line was to get young men and women to have technical competence in the areas we lack in the industry and I want to thank you for helping us realise that”.

President Jonathan, who ended his visit to the Island on Wednesday, visited the National Energy Skills Centre, NESC, at Point Lisas, Couva in Trinidad and Tobago, training some Nigerian youths.

He later departed for Jamaica, which currently was training about 57 Nigerian youths in shield maintenance power welding, automotive service and industrial mechanical maintenance as well as other related courses at the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation.

At the centre, President Jonathan said: “It is a great moment; a moment of joy when I came in and saw young Nigerians, men and women here, greeting me in my local language, the language we speak in the Niger Delta.”

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  • With his public rating at an all time low back home, President Jonathan can use all the effort that can be made to shore up the toga of ineffectual leadership he seem to adorn like a Monk’s habit.