02 September 2014, Lagos – The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has explained that its decision to train personnel in welding and fabrication technology was aimed at bridging the extant dearth of competency in the trade, especially with Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
It said irrespective of the global recognition of welding and fabrication as a trade with set standards, its practice in Nigeria still leaves so much to be desired, hence, its decision to commit funds for eligible Nigerians to get trainings within the Welding Training and Certification Programme (WTCP).
Executive Secretary of PTDF, Mr. Femi Ajayi who recently visited welding training centers, stated that the agency’s involvement in welding and fabrication has been justified by the significant strides made so far to address the dearth of competent and low level manpower in the trade.
Ajayi, who inspected welding training facilities in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Minna and Benin, approved of their training facilities, quality of instructors and the training manual.
He said the training modules were both theoretically and practically rich enough to help groom trainees from ordinary skilled welders to internationally certified and skilled welders, competent enough to practice across the world.
According to him, an organisation like PTDF would have to decide on investing in high tech or low end technology that involves more people. He however added that so much money had been committed by PTDF in welding technology to exploit extant opportunities in what he described as “the low hanging fruits”.
Ho noted that at this level, Nigeria should invest more in the quick-wins projects that will impact more in the industry and satisfy government’s agenda in addressing youth empowerment and unemployment,” Ajayi said.
“As a Fund we will not spare any effort within the available resources to ensure that you complete all the stages that will eventually qualify you as competent welders because the success of the exercise will determine how much we do in increasing local content in the production processes of the oil and gas industry,” Ajayi told the trainees.
While PTDF has so far trained about 1700 welders in the various modules of the fillet, plate and pipe levels, the President of Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW), Dr Solomon Edebiri told Ajayi that a gap analysis conducted in the industry shows that Nigeria needs about 40,000 competent welders to bridge extant gap in the profession.
Edebiri equally noted that welding currently occupies a strategic position in engineering production, construction and fabrication value chain of the oil and gas sector, adding that PTDF’s intervention is expected to help advance acquisition of competent skills in the profession.
– This Day