The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, operator of the NNPC/Shell/Total, Agip Joint Venture, has pledged sustained annual subvention for the Rivers State University’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) to enable it meet its mandate, and fast-track academic excellence in specific fields to bridge technical manpower gaps in the region.
The company also said that for the centre to run smoothly, a board of trustees made up of distinguished academic team from the Rivers State University and experts from SPDC will work in synergy to give the centre the best it can have.
The SPDC disclosed this while commissioning the Centre of Excellence in Marine and Offshore Engineering, last Thursday, at the Amphitheatre, RSU, Port Harcourt.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of SPDC, Mr Osagie Okunbor, stated that the centre would be open to students who meet the minimum entry requirements of a Second-Class Upper Division, with minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.8 in Marine Engineering, adding that the special programme would last for 18-months.
Okunbor, who is also the country chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, further advised RSU management that as partners in the project, the institution should nominate a director, who would coordinate the academic and research programmes at the centre.
He stated that SPDC was exploring a window for collaboration with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in order to encourage the participation of other well-positioned stakeholders to make the CoE a reference point.
Okunbor listed three core business strategies of the company, which emphasise, “Make it safe, make it work, and make it grow” and expressed optimism that the CoE would internalise those values and make them work for the university, while urging the first African Professor of Marine Engineering, Professor
Kelvin Datonye Bobmanuel, to ensure that the three business strategies work in the centre.
In his remarks, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, expressed appreciation to SPDC for the kind gesture, and hoped that the facility would help foster collaboration between oil and gas industry and the academia to promote best practices in Marine and Offshore exploration, given the deltaic nature of the state.
Wike hoped that “the centre would help produce a crop of graduates that would specialize in technological innovations, scientific studies and general technical tasks associated with offshore oil and gas exploration and production of vessels, thereby enhancing manpower development in the state.”
Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku, the governor commended the company for the gesture, and described SPDC as a good corporate citizen, who has done its part, while urging the students to make proper use of the CoE by ensuring that no aspect of the facilities at the centre is misused.
Culled from: Tide Newspaper