The Managing Director of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) Engr. Adewale Solomon Ladenegan, says the collaboration between the Refinery and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund in enhancing the skills and competencies of Nigerians for active participation in the oil and gas industry will maximize value in the industry. Engr. Adewale who was represented by the Executive Director, Services, Mr. Abdullahi Idris, at the graduation ceremony of the second batch of PTDF trained welders on Post Training Attachment Programme at the Refinery, affirmed that KRPC requires the services of the welders to function optimally. “You can see in the refinery we have pipelines all over and the only way that we can maintain them is through welding. We need skilled welders to be able to carry out maintenance activities. We believe that the trainees have been given the best skills that anybody can be given in the industry. We believe they are good and therefore we have the plan that when we come to recruit, our first line of consideration would be them because they have worked with us and we know what stuff they are made of. But let me add this also that we must encourage them not to rely on paid employment. In this country, everybody should be encouraged to first look at the option of being self-employed because it’s more fulfilling. If they are able to employ themselves in their field and you know it’s a very important field, people make very good living from welding, they should consider that as first option. The second option would be for them to seek for employment to which we are ready to provide to them.”

The desire by the management of KRPC to engage some of the PTDF trained welders that have completed the Post Training Attachment in the refinery was given additional impetus by the Executive Director, Operations (KRPC) Mr Thaddeus Tsavnande “As a build up to this graduation ceremony, I asked the people directly responsible for the training, if they can employ these trainees.  The answer was in affirmative. I am saying this because the refinery cannot do without welders. We have over a million pipelines and to repair or patch them, is by welding. So, I want to congratulate my future staff. In the very near future we will be looking for people like you and of course you have got the training, you have done the skills acquisition through the welding you have in this place and I’m sure it will be easy for us to absorb you so that you seamlessly enter the job”.

The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau was represented at the close-out ceremony by the Manager, Nigerian Content and Industry Collaboration Department Mr. Usman Pindar. He said the Fund’s Post Training Attachment will ensure that the skills already acquired by the trained welders are not lost due to lack of gainful employment and practice. Since they have been given the necessary skills needed for the development of the oil and gas industry, it is important that they are kept busy instead of leaving them idle, he asserted.   “We have created the capacities and we ensure that with partners like the KRPC, they remain relevant to the development of the industry. For the six months they have been here, they have contributed in helping to keep the Kaduna Refinery working. A major achievement beside these is that the trainees have received certification not just for theories but for hands-on experience which indicates that they now have the capacity to deliver in the industry without supervision”.

Speaking on behalf of the graduate trainees, Mr Sam Williams said the attachment programme exposed them to the internal dynamics of a refinery and the application of practical welding. “During our training, we were exposed to the refinery for the first time.  So, the IT programme gave us the opportunity to work in the refinery, to work in the plant to see the real work, how it is done in the field”.