On PTDF-WTCP welders training programme
The President of the Federal Republic has the power to investigate and check the activities of any person or ministry under 88 (1) of the 1999 constitution, It the reason why I most respectfully request that you use your good offices to intervene, investigate the Nigerian Institute of Welding and Petroleum Technology Development Fund.
Nigeria’s biggest economic growth constraint before now was the scarcity of local labour, possessing the necessary expertise and skills through a reliable certification process for technical and vocational skills which most employers use as reasons of their inability to hire Nigerian trained technicians. The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the
Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW) has done remarkably well in its welders program. The PTDF, an agency established and backed by decree No.25 of 1973 now incorporated into laws of federation 2004 as chapter 15. On the 4th December 2009 in the *Daily Trust* Newspaper page 25 advertised the welders training and certification program with an award of diploma in fillet, plate and pipe. This training was done in conjunction with the Nigerian institute of welding (NIW) which is an authorized national body of the international institute of welding(IIW) (not yet verified by me). Before this in - country training was made a success the petroleum technology Development Fund (PTDF) sent twenty Nigerians to the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW) and trained them as welding specialist and welding practitioner thereby qualifying as instructors in the train - the trainer program. This was also one of the pre - requisite conditions to be met for the NIW to be an authorized national body of the international institute of welding (IIW) qualified to issue the international institute of welding (IIW) diploma in fillet ,plate and pipe welding; all these were attained under the sponsorship of the petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) via the able leadership of Engr. Muttaqa Rabe Darma, FNSE as the PTDF Executive Secretary and the President of the NIW, Mr. Solomon Edebiri, JP. This cost the government millions of naira per one trainee (person). And on the 19th of April 2010 the training of about 500 Nigerian youths commenced after a rigorous selection process of trainees from the 36 states of the federation and FCT, and on the modules.
The petroleum industry Nigerian content initiative has not meaningfully impacted on these trained Nigerians in creating jobs for them. The training programme was a brain child of the late President Yar’adua with the motive of creating job in the oil and gas companies in Nigeria via the Nigerian Local content initiative to dislodge foreign expatriates but the cruel hand of death frustrated his plans of creating job for the trainee on completion of the program. After President Yar’adua’s demise trainees were just issued with international certification under the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan. Now for over four years they are left unemployed and financially underpowered. Yet companies in Nigeria have been recruiting expatriates from Philippines, India leaving the indigenes unemployed. The petroleum technology development fund (PTDF) has trained another batch of three hundred welders to be certified internationally by the end of this year.
It for this reason I write this letter on behalf of the entire successful welding trainees. Sir I urge you to investigate the entire process of the training including the contact content, the financial implications as well as post agreement on the successful candidate. Sir I also call on your government to implement the local content bill to ensure it is total compliant, to enable the welders be employed in to government and private companies in our oil and gas industries.
On the federal character in the Nigerian Institute of Welders should also be revisited, as well as regularized to ensure representation from allparts of Nigeria.
Tukur Hassan Tingilin, Doctoral Reseacher, Material Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology, Beijing