‘Benefits of Rivers varsity’s maritime centre to Nigeria’s economy, oil sector’
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, has said the setting up of a marine/offshore centre at Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) would conserve foreign exchange and boost oil and gas activities in the country.
Speaking at the weekend in Port Harcourt during the inauguration of the Centre of Excellence in Marine and Offshore Engineering, donated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Wabote noted that the centre would help to conduct dynamic research on loading of vessels.
This, according to him, is a remarkable achievement towards conserving foreign exchange, as a lot of jobs would be localised in a move to getting the nation out of recession.
His words: “The facility will help develop skills in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. This is where oil and gas activities are concentrated. If we do not build such a facility here, I wonder where else it will be built.”
The Managing Director of Shell, Osagie Okunbor, described the centre as a distinguished place for research and innovation, adding that the oil and gas industry was evolving with constant need to innovate.
He noted that the centre, which comes on stream next January, is offering courses leading to the award of M.Tech Marine Engineering, M.Tech Offshore and M.Tech Naval Architecture among others.
“ The centre will compare with what is obtainable globally and will complement the company’s intervention programmes aimed at interlinking the industry with the academia.
“We recognise that a lack of world class research institution and limited access to technology are key challenges in enabling Nigerians and Nigeria to play greater roles in the oil and gas value chain,” Okunbor added.
The institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Blessing Didia, submitted that one of the objectives of the centre was to annually develop industry-ready and highly trained graduates for potential employment in the sector.He added that the facility would also build the capacity of lecturers and foster collaborations.