The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has disclosed that the Federal Government would upgrade the Skills Acquisition Centre built by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to oil and gas training institute to service the oil and gas sector with competent man power.

He said when upgraded, the Institute would offer certificate, diploma and degree courses in oil and gas related fields.

He stressed that the Institute would be commercially viable based on the different training programmes that would be offerred when the institute commences operations.

Senator Akpabio dropped the hint over the weekend at a rousing reception for him and top management staff of the Ministry during an inspection tour of facilities at the Centre in Ibeno.

Other facilities at the Centre included two 250 bed hostels for male and female, staff quarters, clinic, library , classrooms, pipe-borne water and a good road network.

He said courses in under water welding could be under taken at the center because of the Olympic size swimming pool constructed at the site. He said this would save the country a lot of foreign exchange spent by those who go to South Africa to train in the under water welding programme. Other related courses/skills in oil and gas can also be acquired at the Centre.

Senator Akpabio commended the vision of citing the Centre in Ibeno and recommended that the Centre should be renamed after President Muhammadu Buhari because of his love for the rural communities and the masses.

A community leader, Engineer William Mkpa expressed appreciation to Senator Akpabio for the visit to the Centre. He informed the Minister that the project began when he (Akpabio) was the Governor of Akwa Ibom State and it was not a coincidence that he would be the one to complete it.

The Community leader reiterated the belief of the community that with Senator Akpabio at the helms of Affairs at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the project would come to fruiton in earnest with President Buhari coming to lbeno for the Commissioning.

The reception which turned into a carnival of sort saw the community rolling out the drums to receive Senator Akpabio and his entourage. Different traditional dances and masquerades were on display to entertain the visitors. Senator Akpabio and his team later paid a courtesy visit to the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, Owong Effiong Archianga in his palace where he was presented with souvenirs by the community.

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