By Yemie Adeoye
In an effort to boost indigenous participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry following the passage of the Nigerian Content Development Act by the federal Government the Petroleum Technology and Development Fund (PTDF), has concluded plans to continually boost indigenous capacity to pave way for indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry.
As part of efforts to actualise this dream, the Agency which is saddled with the responsibility of developing technical education in Nigeria said it would be completing 209 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centres across the country, a project which is expected to gulp about N18 billion when completed in its first phase.
Speaking recently during the inspection of the ICT centre at the Federal Government Girls College, Shagamu in Ogun state, Southwest Nigeria, the helmsman of the Agency Mallam Muttaqha Rabe Darma said that he had embarked on the inspection to know the progress of work at the various centres in the southwest.
According to him the first phase of ICT centres comprising of 146 projects were started in 20005/2006, while the second phase of 63 centres were started in 2010.
He stated further that over N12 billion was initially earmarked for buildings alone in the first phase, while about 6 billion would be used to equip the centres.
Some of the equipment includes power generating sets for tertiary institutions, solar power systems for secondary schools, water systems, computers and three months subscriptions.
He stated that PTDF is also upgrading the buildings housing the departments of oil and gas related courses in some Nigerian Universities, adding that the purpose of the inspection was also to determine if the projects are in line with the specifications in the contract agreements.
Darma, who also led his team to the some other institutions like the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and the University of Lagos, noted that his team recorded remarkable achievements during his visits.
He expressed disappointments in the delay in the construction of the Petroleum and Gas Department at the University of Lagos, adding that the PTDF has extracted a serious commitment from the contractor that the project would be ready in the next three months.
‘In the University of Lagos, where PTDF is building the department of Petroleum and Gas Engineering from the scratch, we discovered that the contractor is far behind schedule.
We summoned the contractor, and he affirmed to us that he sought for extension of time and it was extended by three months. He assured us that he will complete the project by October.