Pomp As Mkpat Enin Receives Youth Trained In Oil and Gas


The Mkpat Enin Local Government Council secretariat was a beehive of activities over the weekend, as the Council Chairman, Hon Ephraim Akpan, his vice; Evangelist Eno Williams and Secretary of the Council; Lady Ekaette Usip, turned out en-mass to receive 40 youths of the area who were sent by the council for training in the oil and gas.

Others who despite the early morning showers attended the epoch making event were the Leader, Mkpat Enin Legislature; Rt Hon Ikpong Franklyn, Councilors, Supervisors, the NDDC Commissioner in the State, Engr. Etim Inyang Jnr, former Caretaker Chairman of the area, Hon Ubong Ekwere Inyang, former House of Assembly member, Dr Nseobong Nkanta, royal fathers, political class, various youth and women groups as well as some parents and guardians of the graduands.

Hon. Ephraim Akpan – Executive Chair, Mkpat Enin LGA

The youth were trained by the foremost oil and gas giants; Sky-Traine International Limited, Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

Speaking, the Council Chairman, Hon Ephraim Akpan specifically thanked his executive members and the legislature for having keyed into the vision and graciously approving training of the youth since last year.

Hon Akpan observed that the empowerment programme was meant to improve the lives of the youth who were used and dumped after elections in the past.

He recalled that part of his campaign promises was to reduce poverty among the people of Mkpat Enin through massive empowerment and as well provide better health care services, infrastructure and roads.

According to the Council boss, the era of giving people pieces of fishes to eat was since over in the area.

“When I came in as the council chairman, I did not want to follow the pattern of only dashing money to people here and there. Mine was to create empowerment that can be sustainable year in year out.

“For instance, when we sent the trainees to Port Harcourt for their training, we ensure that we made live comfortable for them; we paid their fees and ensure they have monthly allowances because we did not want them to be distracted”, Ephraim said.

Explaining why the training became necessary, the council boss noted, “When I was serving in the council as a Special Adviser, often time, Mobil Producing Nigeria and other oil companies would send us employment slot and we would not have qualified youth to fill in the vacant positions; so these companies would take the slots to other Local Government Areas that have trained personnel. But today, I’m grateful to God that we now have people who are competent and ably qualified to take up any job in the oil and gas.

“So, apart from sending the youth for training, the local government thought it wise that in any society, everybody must not roam the streets in search of few white collar jobs, so we decided to set up what we call GODSWILL AKPABIO GAS AND OIL ACADEMY at Nya-Odiong which would be inaugurated on the 2nd of October this year”, the chairman said.

Our reporter who monitored the event observed that the Academy has massive Administration block, ICT centre, classroom block with canteen and health centre.

Other facilities in the Academy include; Pipeline and Argon welding workshop, Scaffolding workshop, Grinding workshop, Industrial Fittings, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Crane Operation workshop, hostel facility, staff quarters and power house.

According to the Chairman, the inspiration came from God and the youth-friendly governor of the State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, who has set the pace in youth development and empowerment. He however stressed that the graduands would form the nucleus staff in the oil and gas, while interested ones would train next batch of Mkpat Enin indigenes at the oil and gas Academy.

The council boss expressed delight that the first batch of trainees who passed out touched all the communities that make up Mkpat Enin.

While congratulating them for successfully completing one year training in the oil and gas, Akpan charged youths in the area to diversify from politics and face skills and jobs that can sustain them and their generations yet unborn.

On his part, the Manager of Sky-Traine International Limited, Port Harcourt, Engr Stanley Izidor, commended the council Chairman for being the first in the entire country apart from the Rivers State government that has trained youth in such huge and magnificent skills.

Engr Izidor said the youth were trained in several skills according to their specification. Skills like; pipe line welding, Argon welding, pipe fittings, crane operation, truck driving, Industrial Electrical, amongst others.

He expressed optimism that all the graduating students from their institution, which he said is world class, can defend their certificates anywhere in the world.

Also speaking, the NDDC Commissioner in the State, Engr Etim Inyang Jnr., commended the council boss, Hon Ephraim Akpan for taking it upon himself to complement the efforts of the state government at improving the lives of the people and reducing poverty in the society.

The NDDC boss noted that Akpan has not only made the trainees to be self-employed but has also given them confidence and made them employers of labour in the nearest future.

He divulged that plans have been concluded by the Commission to train Mkpat Enin youths in agriculture, assuring that at the end of the training, Bank of Industry being their partner, will give them facilities to start up their business

He urged the people of Mkpat Enin to quickly supply various needs of their locality to the NDDC saying, the commission which is working on the 2015 budget, is determined to touch all the nooks and crannies and make a difference.

Other speakers including the former Caretaker Chairman, Elder Ubong Inyang, former House member, Dr Nseobong Nkanta, also lauded the council boss for being the first in the area to achieve great feats with the limited resources and called for massive support from all and sundry to the Chairman to continue to do more.

Speaking with our reporter shortly after the event, one of the graduands, Nsikak Udoh who was enrolled in Pipeline Welding with 6GR, the highest certificate in the field, lauded Hon Ephraim Akpan for his gargantuan milk of compassion. He observed that even while they were undergoing the training in Rivers State, their welfare and monthly allowances was the council’s priority.

The Pipeline professional who said he is in high spirit already to showcase the skills acquired for one year, prayed for good health and long life for the Chairman and his executive members to do more for the next batch.

Highpoint of the event were presentation of certificates to the graduands, presentation of award of excellence by the oil and gas giants, Sky-Traine International to the Council boss, Hon Ephraim Akpan, as well as presentation of a portrait by the graduands still to the Chairman.

Officials of the NDDC, NULGE as well as newsmen were later taken to the GODSWILL AKPABIO GAS AND OIL ACADEMY project site, located in Nya Odiong, Mkpat Enin LGA, which is due for inauguration on the 2nd of October this year.

[+] Henshaw Nyong


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