The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has graduated a batch of 20 young Nigerians at the Nigerian Navy Underwater Warfare School, Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos State. The programme held in partnership with the Nigerian Navy and Mieka Dive Training Institute (MDTI) marked the end of a five-month commercial air dive training programme organised by the Board for the trainees certificated as Class-I and Class-II divers.
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote at the close-out ceremony disclosed that the rapid expansion of the Nigerian offshore industry with more oilfield development taking place in the deep offshore basin has necessary aggressive skills development to support strategic projects, some of which are already running and others, expected to come on stream in the near future.
According to the president, the professional diving industry in Nigeria is presently dominated by foreigners, which the training aim at addressing. He emphasized that developing Nigeria Content in the oil and gas industry and its linkage sector is the Board’s major mandate and also prioritizing human capital development for areas with identified gaps of skilled and qualified citizens.
Engr. Wabote expressed profound appreciation to the Nigerian Navy and Mieka Dive Institute for the impeccable arrangements and high safety ethics imbibed by trainers and trainees alike that made the program hugely successful, without any untoward incident. On the significance of what the participants accomplished through the training, the Nigerian Content Chieftain noted that their newly acquired skills and knowledge have made them assets in line with the Board’s strategic objective of developing an industry skill pool of qualified Class-I and Class-II divers.
He encourages the trainees to put their heads up and persuade them that they should not relent on building their skills and certifications to meet the global industry demands as the future is bright for those who are willing.
In his speech, the Special Guest of Honour and Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, Lagos, Rear Admiral Patrick Nwatu represented by the Commandant, NNS Quorra, Cmdr. Adamu Yahaya commend both consultants and trainees for the successful completion of the extensive study and rigorous diving training designed to transform the trainees into professional air divers.
Rear Admiral Nwatu also appreciated the graduates for their discipline, hardwork, determination and excellence and enjoined them to extol these values in their future pursuits. He further described how the Nigerian Navy signed a joint venture agreement with Mieka Dive Limited to conduct commercial air diving training at the Underwater Warfare School and has trained its personnel since its inception in 2011.
The FOC showed that the graduates who are the fourth batch of air divers trained in the facility are products of the collaboration, and thanked the Chief of Naval Staff for his visionary and unwavering support for the school while recognising the commitment of the NCDMB for sponsoring the training and pledges that the Navy will continue to provide the needed support for the courses. He congratulated the graduates and enjoined them to use the knowledge gained during the training, judiciously.
The Commanding Officer of the Underwater Warfare School, Commander Ibrahim Adewuyi welcomed participants to the close-out ceremony and stated that in spite of the numerous challenges the school faced at this period, the graduants were exposed to classroom lectures and practical diving operations during their training.
Commander Adewuyi was pleased to note that these challenges were currently being planned to be addressed in due time. He urges the graduants to be good representatives of the school and wished them well in their commercial diving career.
At the presentation of certificates and awards, William Godsgift emerged as Best Student at Practicals; while Animiuworio Direla took home the Best Behaved Student Award. Others were Edemu Anthonia who won Best Student with an average score of 83%, while the Overall Best Student with a total average score of 85.6% is Aladdin John. Before the five-month training, the graduates had undergone a rigorous selection process to qualify for the training and had drills, classroom lectures, practical sessions and group activities.
The peak of the close-out event was a live demonstration of commercial air diving by a cross-section of the graduates who simulated dive competence training in a 30-metre inshore surface tanker with the use of self-contained underwater diving apparatus, and associated devices which is a criterion by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) fulfilled by the trainees to be issued certificates.