By Ifeanyi Olannye
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has assured Nigerians of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to building a solid structure for the country.
Kachikwu stated this at the 2016 Convocation of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta, on Saturday.
He said that there was no doubt that the country was passing through a difficult phase due to dwindling oil revenue but that Buhari was working hard to lay a sustainable foundation for the country.
“I must say that Mr President is putting in place solid foundation such that if the country gets out of this current situation, it will never get back to it.
“This might not be immediate but please bear with us, for we are working round the clock to find a lasting solution”, the minister said.
He said Nigerians have the human capacity to do well and urged every institution, individuals and family to have a change of attitude in what they do to ensure effective management of available resources.
According to Kachikwu, the consumption pattern of the people needs to change.
He commended the institute for proper management of funds and urged them to evolve ideas that could make the institution self reliant.
The minister pledged to liaise with relevant agencies to ensure that PTI remained relevant in building the manpower needs of the oil and gas industry in the country.
He assured that government would provide the enabling environment for Nigerians to put their intellect and ingenuity to bear.
The minister advised the graduands not to bother looking for work but utilise their skills to create jobs for themselves and to employ others.
Kachikwu announced automatic employment for the best three Higher National Diploma graduating students of the institution.
Prof. Sunny Iyuke, the Principal, PTI, said the institution, estab lished by Act No. 37 of 1972, continued to make giant strides in human capital development in the oil and gas industry.
He said that the institution would in collaboration with University of South Africa commence a post graduate Diploma programme relevant to the oil and gas sector.
The principal also said that the school planned to partner with other foreign universities to undertake a Master of Science Programme in ICT
He said PTI would soon become a centre for digital innovations which would create jobs for the teeming youths.
“We are soliciting your support and collaboration in this regard. The project is estimated at N120 billion and when completed will be first of its kind in the entire sub-saharan Africa”, he said.
Also, Mr Modechia Ladan, Chairman Governing Council, PTI, thanked the Federal Government for supporting the institute, adding that it was doing all within its capability to raise revenue internally.
“I appeal to Federal Government to consider increasing the budgetary allocation of the institute to enable it to achieve its mandate’’, he said.
More than 3,000 students of the institution received Higher National Diplomas, National Diplomas and certificates for the last three academic sessions.