The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs said Akwa Ibom Government and Mobil Company have agreed to collaborate to complete the ongoing skill acquisition centre at Owuochang, Ibeno, Local Government Area.
The Minister, Pastor Uguru Usani, disclosed this on Saturday in Ibeno, while inspecting the skill acquisition centre.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Ministry in 2008 had initiated the Skills Acquisition Centres in nine states namely: Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Imo and Abia.
He said the skill acquisation centres were designed to equip and empower the youths in the region with relevant skills and help them start their own ventures after the completion of the programme.
“Our skills acquisition centre is designed for the purpose of engaging the minds of our youth, which is very critical. .
“These trainees will be engaged in under water wielding and others fields in oil and gas sector, while those who wish to set up their own businesses will be empowered to do so.
“The Skills Acquisition Centre in Otuoke, he recalled has been inaugurated and handed over to the Federal University in that area as temporary site for the take off of the institution.” he said
Usani stated that the state government and Mobil has agreed to commit the sum of N2 billion to the project for quick completion.
He, however, warned contractors against low quality jobs and unnecessary delays, adding that they should live up to expectation.
He stressed that the projects had lingered without definite period of delivery, which would no longer be condoned by the Ministry.
“The contract was awarded almost 6 years ago and we are just tired of all these ongoing projects that have remained inconclusive due to paucity of funds.
“Hence, we have resolved that these projects will not continue to be at the state of ongoing status again.” he said
The minister assured the contractors handling the projects of the government’s readiness to make funds available to ensure the speedy completion of the projects.
He said that his tour to the project sites was to access the scope of work done by the contractors and to ensure that the money paid is commensurate with the work done so far.
The minister further stated that the Akwa Ibom skill acquisition centre when completed is expected to train youths on Oil and Gas, Maritime and ICT.
He inspected the Hostel Facilities, Administrative Blocks, Workshop Rooms, Store House, Cafeteria, Oil Field/Rig for exploration practices as well as Recreational Facilities at the Centre.
Usani added that the youths will be drawn from each of the nine oil producing states on equal basis.
Acres Turnkey Consultant, Mr Leke Adewale, one of the project contractors on site, while pledging their commitment, attributed the delay to inadequate funding.
Mr. Isaac Abakam, the CEO of Stegis International Agencies Nigeria Limited, also a contractor handling the project, blamed the slow pace of work on the unpredictable weather in the region and non-release of funds.
NAN recalls that the N5 billion project was launched in 2010.