400 PTDF welder trainees bag international certification

oil-industryWITH fresh 400 qualified welders, Nigeria now has 1,500 welders that have international certification, the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Olufemi Ajayi has disclosed.

The Executive Secretary, who stated this in his closeout speech at the Port-Harcourt centre, said the milestone is part of the Fund’s drive to up-skill Nigerians in welding and fabrication capabilities.

He explained that apart from stimulating the engagement of a large number of Nigerian skilled workforce in the oil and gas sector, the existence of more than 20 internationally certified welding and fabrication centres across the six geo-political zones was made possible by PTDF capacity building intervention in welders training and certification.

Ajayi noted that before now, only two training centres had the competence to train welders to International Institute of Welding (IIW) standards.

The PTDF Executive Secretary noted that going forward, the PTDF is currently undertaking an evaluation of the welding and fabrication capabilities of all Federal Universities, Polytechnics and private training centres in Nigeria to ascertain the current capacities of various tertiary and private welding and fabrication training institutions in-country in order to determine areas of urgent intervention both in equipment and requisite manpower development to ensure the total domiciliation of fabrication activities in-country.

Ajayi hinted that 24 Nigerians who earlier graduated from the scheme were among skilled professionals engaged in stadia construction for the 2014 FIFA world cup finals hosted by Brazil, while 16 other beneficiaries of the programme are gainfully employed by industrial equipment manufacturing giant, Hyundai of South Korea.

Speaking on the feat, the President of Nigeria Institute of Welding (NIW), Dr Solomon Edebiri, said the NIW will ensure that welding is practiced in accordance with international best practices and ensure that Nigeria becomes an exporter of welding skills given the fact that most of the trainees who passed through PTDF Welders Training and Certification Programmes are currently working in various places across the globe such as in Brazil, South Korea, UK and some West African countries.

He also lauded PTDF for supporting the Institute to become accredited by the International Institute of Welding as an authorised National Body and the development of private welding centres and those in Federal Institutions of learning across the country.

He added: “As an intervention agency of the Federal Government, PTDF has made great strides in building capacity for welding. Over the last seven years, in the course of training Nigerians, PTDF has successfully supported the development of over 30 privately owned welding training centres and over 10 Federal Institutions in Nigeria. I am optimistic that we should have enough capacity to domesticate any form of welding training locally in Nigeria”.

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