Oil Minister Urges NCDMB, PTDF to Complete Abandoned Projects
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria’s oil minister, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, has charged two key agencies in the oil and gas sector; the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), on the completion of abandoned energy projects.
He tasked the organisations during his inspection visit to the PTDF Centre for Skills Development and Training in Omagwa, Rivers State.
The PTDF Centre, which began in 2011 and was abandoned in 2014 due to lack of funding, include a six-storey tower block, a library, and heavy and light industrial workshops for the training of Nigerians in oil and gas skills.
Mr Lokpobiri commended NCDMB for their timely intervention to complete the PTDF Centre and urged the contractors to continue to work hard to get the job done, assuring that any challenges faced will be addressed and resolved immediately.
The former lawmaker particularly appealed to NCDMB to intervene more in completing similar abandoned projects in the region so as to engage, train and employ more youths.
He said, “We can’t afford to make similar mistakes like in the past. The earlier we put our heads together and complete this project, the better for us. We must find a way to set up a sustainable management structure that will keep this project so it does not run down like many other projects and initiatives.
“This visit is important to me; that is why I am here to see things for myself and see how we can then plan the best possible way to run and manage it.”
On his part, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, briefed the Minister and Acting Executive Secretary of PTDF, Mr Ahmed Galadima Aminu, on the progress of the project and outlined the importance of the training Centre and how it will benefit thousands of youths when completed.
Mr Wabote further disclosed that the board has discovered about 250 abandoned vocational centres in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta States with no management structure and no equipped management.
“NCDMB got involved and partnered with PTDF to complete and equip this training centre to meet global standards rather than to build a new centre from scratch,” he said.