Leaders from host communities of the Afam VI Power Plant at Oyigbo in River State have commended the empowerment initiative of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) operated Joint Venture that has trained 30 engineering student from the communities.
Speaking at the ceremony in Port Harcourt to mark the end of the one-year training, the member representing Oyigbo constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chisom Dike, said that the initiative had become a personal dream come true, as he recalled how SPDC accepted his proposal as a youth leader about 12 years ago to train over 100 youths in various skills.
‘The success story of that initiative today is that our youths are major participants in virtually all construction and fabrication projects undertaken anywhere in Oyigbo Local Government Area and beyond,’ he added.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, John Bazia, advised the graduates to make the best of the opportunity of their training by exploring entrepreneurial opportunities and providing employment to others.
Eze Elijah Adiele, traditional ruler of Ayama community, thanked SPDC for the sustainable community development programme, which has given bright future to graduates from Afam Power Plant communities.
“We can confidently say that the trainees are the best set of engineers in the Nigeria electricity industry today,” Afam Power Project Manager, Ben Agbajogu, said.
He added that the trainees have been adequately equipped theoretically and practically on operating and maintaining modern power plants, and can compete favourably with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
The initiative which incorporates training sessions both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom graduated 15 engineering students, the second set of 30 youths trained in the operation and maintenance of combined cycle power plant
The training included exposure of the graduates for 11 months at the Afam VI Power Plant, to operating and maintaining a combined cycle power plant and one-month specialised certificate training at the Osborne Training Services Newcastle, United Kingdom.
The Power Plant Operations and Maintenance training programme began in 2013 with a set of 15 graduates of engineering background trained in Bangkok, Thailand.