Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), on Monday, flagged off the training in Nigeria of 30 participants for the maiden American Society for Non-Destructive Testing, (ASNT) Level III Training and Certification.
The Executive Secretary was represented at the event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State by the General Manager, Capacity Building Division of the Board, Dr. Ama Ikuru.
He explained that the training was as a result of the urgent need to close the existing critical gaps in the ASNT Level III professionals in-country, adding that the Board is committed to training and certifying 100 Nigerians in that category.
Engr. Wabote disclosed that despite the fact that Non-Destructive Testing is a high value adding activity with versatile applications in the oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors,Nigeria presently has just about 11 ASNT Level II inspectors.He said the training is intended to specifically address existing in-country gaps, reduce capital flight resulting in the engagement of expatriates for the provision of Non-Destructive Testing, (NDT) and related professional services as well as to drive train-the-trainer strategy to create viable and robust pool of NDT professionals in-country.
Heenume rated other objectives of the training as: to enhance professionalism and competitiveness of Nigerians in the provision of NDT and related services in the oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors, drive the domiciliation of NDT services in-country, increase local participation and retention of industry spends in the NDT value chain and further the attainment of the goals and aspirations of the NOGICD Act of 2010 and the Board’s 10-Year Strategic Road Map.
Simbi commended the two reputable companies charged with the responsibility to deliver the training, namely: Jimcol Resources Nigeria Limited and Inspection & Tests Nigeria Limited. He stated that both companies are specialists with remarkable experience in the provision of NDT training and services, and members of the American Society for Non-Destructive Testing (ASNT) which is a leading certifying entity in NDT profession globally.
Speaking earlier in his welcome address, the President of the Association of Non-Destructive Testing Practitioners (ANTEP), HRH Chief (Sir) Rowland Nze congratulated the Executive Secretary, Engr. Wabote on his reappointment by President Muhammadu Buhari. Chief Nze commended the Board’s capacity building initiative which has changed the narrative of quality control processes in the oil and gas industry by assuring an advanced level of participation of Nigerians in QA/QC and NDT protocols of the industry.
The ANTEP President asserted that the Board through its partnership with the Association has empowered the practice of NDT in the Nigerian oil and gas space, noting that some companies now have investments in both advanced equipment and human resources. He added that local practitioners had invested with the confidence that first consideration will be given the Association for all NDT jobs in Nigeria.
The Royal Father wrapped up his address by requesting the National Assembly to reconsider the current proposal to increase the percentage of contribution to the Local Content Fund from one percent to two percent. He said such an amendment may have the unpleasant consequences of increasing the burden of an already stretched oil industry economy and may impact negatively the government’s plan to improve ease of doing business in Nigeria and by extension affect local practitioners like ANTEP companies.
On their parts, the chief executive of Jimcol Resources Nigeria Limited, Engr. Ndubuisi Chijioke and his counterpart, Mazi Sam Azoka Onyechi of Inspection & Tests Nigeria Limited both expressed delight for the Board’s inspiring initiative to fill the skill gap in the NDT industry. Both companies showed their excitement for the opportunity to work with NCDMB and ANTEP in the human capacity development project to train and qualify 30 Nigerian NDT personnel to ASNT Level III.
They reiterated the significance of the project that the Board has set out to increase local capacity at this skill level by over 200 percent and potentially by more than 700 percent when the 100 Level II NDT inspectors are finally trained and certified as promised by the Board.
The high point of the kick-off ceremony was a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities of both companies by the General Manager, Capacity Building Division, Dr. Ama Ikuru, accompanied by the executive members of ANTEP and other industry stakeholders.