Federal Government has renewed its commitment to attract over $10 billion (N3.6 trillion) to the Niger Delta between 2017 and 2019 through investments in infrastructure.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who made the disclosure at the graduation ceremony of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Delta State, noted that the use of equity and debt to finance the share of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)-Joint Venture Cash (JVC) calls could no longer be sustained in this period of low oil price regime.
He said that Nigeria is considering asset sale to bridge this gap.
“We are also improving investment climate and ensuring an enabling environment for the development of our gas resources through the Nigerian Gas Policy.
“The Institute has a lot of role to play in the gas policy in terms of training and development of local human capital. This Policy would lead to the harnessing of the country’s vast gas resources and the stopping of gas flaring in Nigeria”, he said.
Kachikwu stated that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is being considered in phases by the National Assembly.
“The Bill itself covers everything from the overhaul of NNPC to taxes on upstream projects, to regulatory framework of the oil and gas sector. I want to state firmly that PTI would be properly captured in the Bill”, he added.
He emphasized the need for local content development in the oil and gas sector, adding that “PTI tends to collaborate with Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), which has been mandated to construct a model modular refinery using local materials and technology.
“This refinery would be used for experiential training and for teaching purposes. The Institute would once again be involved in the training and re-training of personnel of NNPC thereby cutting off capital flight through local training in conformity with the Change Mantra of this administration.”
In his welcome address, the Principal/Chief Executive, PTI, Prof. Sunny Iyuke, disclosed that 48 students graduated with distinction, and 347 students graduated with upper credit.
He said that the institute would be collaborating with several universities within and outside the country in the Postgraduate Diploma and Masters of Science Programme in engineering.
He added that the institute and Wits University in South Africa were also finalising arrangements to commence Post Graduate Diploma and Masters in engineering.
Iyuke noted that this collaboration, no doubt, would break the HND ceiling for our teeming graduates and further boost our human capacity development.
He appeal to the oil and gas industry operators to take full advantage of the graduation ceremony to recruit the best who have been trained and are market ready.
He also made an appeal to Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) to complete the hostels, new academic building, renovation of the printing press and the installation of training equipment, which are on ground in various departments.
“I wish to appeal to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to furnish the hostel donated to PTI and hand it over. It is my prayer that these challenges will be met before the commencement of the 2017/2018 Academic session,” he added.