Agip kicks off practical sea time experience programme
* NCDMB tasks oil firms human capacity development
The Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE), yesterday flagged –off Practical Sea Time Experience program aimed at reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign personnel in the marine operations.
Speaking at the kick-off ceremony at Onne, Port Harcourt, in Rivers State, the Managing Director of NAE, Massimo Insulla, said a gap was identified by the firm that graduates of Marine Engineering from the nation’s Universities and cadets from Nautical Academy, Oron have nowhere to perform the mandatory Practical Sea Time Experience that will enable them get international certification after the demise of the National flagship, the Nigerian National shipping Line and consequently, are not in position to be gainfully employed.
According to Insulla, in a move to close the gap, the firm in 2014, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria to develop the oil and gas industry. He said 20 cadets who have graduated but unable to get opportunity were the first to benefit from the programme which began yesterday.
He said: “ As at start, today, 20 cadets who hitherto have graduated but unable to get opportunity for practical sea time experience shall start a journey of 36 months, 18 months on board and 18 months on recuperation to acquire the Practical Sea Time Experience which is the gateway to NIMASA and International Certifications for them to effectively practice their chosen profession”.
Speaking also, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, noted that the program was in line with the Board’s drive for in-country value addition, stressing that when completed, the program would help put qualified Nigerians on the global arena of marine operations and also reduce dependence on foreign personnel.
Represented by the Board’s Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Daziba Obah, the NCDMB boss expressed joy that the move would bring positive boost to the nation’s economy, stressing that funds usually paid to foreigners would now be retained in the country .
While commending NAE and PETAN for what he described as resulted oriented synergy, He added, “ We will like to remind you all of the fact that, upon the completion of this program, the Board would be grateful to have all the trainees absorbed because that is when we can be proud to have achieved real Nigerian Content.
Wabote, however, tasked other International oil Companies and Operators to come up with other legacy Human Capacity Development Programs and value adding initiatives aside its mandatory ones to ensure the set targets of the Nigerian Content is achieved.
A former governor of old Rivers State, Alfred Diete-Spiff, while declaring the ceremony open, expressed delight over the gesture, noting that it would create jobs and improve the nation’s economy.
He charged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity given to them and become good ambassadors of the country. The 20 cadet said, they were happy to be among selected for the program, noting that it would help them practice their chosen profession effectively.
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