The Community Trust (CT) of Ke community in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State says it embarked upon training of its youths in various skills to prepare them for the oil industry.
Barrister Ibikroma Max-Alalibo, the secretary to CT, Stated this recently in Port Harcourt in an exclusive interview with The Tide shortly after the body handed over starter packs of tools boxes to 30 graduands of its skilled acquisition programme.
He explained that given the activities of oil exploration and exploitation in and around the community, and the general claim by companies that there are little or no qualified personnel for employment in most host communities, “the CT decided to invest in training and preparing our youth” for the oil industry.
“We organised the training to enable our people participant favourably in the oil industry when it comes to areas of pipe – fitting, pipeline welding and argon welding,” he said.
According to him, in addition to giving them the starter packs, the graduands were also registered in the relevant skill associations such as fitters association and welders association.
He, however, gave kudos to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Rivers State government for coming up with the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) through which the training was made possible.
“The GMOU is the best thing to have happened to all communities in the Niger Delta because as a tripartite arrangement involving government, company and host community, it allows the community to chart its own developmental course, based on the resources of the company, in this case, SPDC,” he explained.
The GMOU arrangement, he said “is better that the period prior to 2007, when GMOU came into effect, in which the companies embark on whatever projects they consider good for their host communities without recourse to what the community actually needs.”
He used the opportunity to advise the beneficiaries to “take the skill they have acquired serious and live up to the expectations of their community, SPDC and the state government,” saying that they are “the privileged few among over 500 people that are required to be trained in the three skills.”
On their part, some of the granduants who spoke to The Tide assured on their determination to not only disappoint the government, SPDC and our community (Ke), but also ourselves, because if we do not make good use of this opportunity, everybody will know we have failed