05 October 2013, Yenagoa – The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is billed to commence the recruitment of youths for training in oil and gas, maritime, information communications technology, ICT, as well as iPad and telephone assembly, as some of the ministry’s skills acquisition centres in the nine oil producing states of the Niger Delta are near completion.
One of the centres located in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, is at the final stages of completion and is to be commissioned next month by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The centre will draw equal number of trainees from the nine Niger Delta states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, who spoke while inspecting the Otuoke centre alongside members of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta, said with the centre almost completed, the recruitment of 500 trainees would commence this month, adding that they would be drawn from each of the nine states on equal basis.
He stated the centres, including the one in Otuoke would be run on public-private partnership (PPP)basis in order to guarantee best practices and sustainability, adding that his ministry allows private concern to run them.
Orubebe, who expressed delight at the level of work done at the Otuoke centre, said international oil companies were already partnering the ministry and had promised to provide oil rigs and simulators to help in acquiring practical training the youths in oil gas operations.
The minister also disclosed that some of the would-be trainees would be involved in the assembling of iPads and telephones, stating that on completion, they would be offered automatic employment by the Canadian company training them.
Orubebe said two other centres at advanced stages of completion were expected to commence training before the end of this year, adding the centre in Akwa Ibom and Delta States would also concentrate on oil and gas, ICT and maritime studies.
The centres in Abia and Imo will train youths in commerce, the one in Cross River is on entertainment and tourism while the Ondo skills acquisition centre will focus on agriculture. The minister stated that his ministry was working towards bringing all the centres on stream.
Speaking, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator James Manager, and his House of Representatives Committee counterpart, Hon. Warman Ogoriba, expressed satisfaction with the level of work and commended the ministry for the youth empowerment programme.
According to them, the ministry’s decision for a private sector operator to manage the centres was the best approach to make them run optimally and become enduring.
– This Day