The huge machine lying sleepily on the flat-bed truck became a centre of attraction for most visitors to the inauguration of the oil and gas training and research centre recently at the Ibom e-library, Uyo. The other machines spread randomly within the premises as I made my way up to the event venue. The machines outside evoked some good memories of my adventure once in the oil industry and I long to see those fresh faces that once bossed me while I learnt some skills on site.
Why am I so interested in the recent progresses made by the present administration in the
Ministry of Science and Technology? There is a general believe that whatever the government sets up is designed to embezzle funds for the moment and after that tenure such facilities are left to struggle for a breath in the next administration and when no one actually cares, it results in eventual death.
Ibom e-library was believed to be one of such facilities built by the immediate past administration of Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio. The library covers a considerable dimension of land and stands out as one of the most outstanding buildings along the IBB way. The first 2 years of the Udom Emmanuel’s administration saw the library struggling between serving as an event centre and functioning as a research hub which we believe was the original design.
Two years down the line in the present administration we advocated the effective use of the library. We suggested the library should be used as a hub for enthusiast – a hub is usually used as an incubation centre for tech and business ideas. All these provided no results as the initial white paints on the wall gradually deteriorated to a brownish looking design. The ministry of Science of Technology thought differently of the huge facility which was gradually turning into an event centre while tech enthusiasts awaited a redeemer for the sleeping giant.
Mark Essien of hotels.ng which presently spans Africa arrived the Ibom e-library sometimes last year and expressed his regret on how the library was under-utilized. Then came the cabinet reshuffle late 2016.
Professor Nse Essien, then Doctor arrived the Ministry of Science and Technology like every other politician whose aim is believed to plunder, make themselves rich and leave the scene to when Christ will visit the scene for a true transformation. Several negotiations were thrown to his table for the proper utilization of the library while enthusiasts bided time to understand the dreams and aspirations of the new commissioner.
Mark Essien again resurfaced. Hotels.ng was to organize training for Akwa Ibom youths in
the area of software development and a conducive environment was needed to house the interns. Techforest.ng was not among the crew that approached the commissioner but the outcome was successful. The commissioner being an educator understood the value of learning and the need to impact the Akwa Ibom ecosystem with successful developers and technopreneurs who will in-turn affect the revenue of the state. Start Innovation Hub was given a space large enough to even serve as a co-working space for other hubs with similar dreams.
Today, the narrative continues to change. While Prof. Nse Essien helped Akwa Ibom youths in finding a lifetime career in the IT Industry, nature also bestowed him with a promotion to the rank of a professor of Geology. Surprisingly, the promotion came with another ground-breaking achievement in the usage of the once near abandoned Ibom e-library. Akwa Ibom Oil and Gas Training and Research Center is birthed at the library powered by Halliburton.
According to experts in the oil and gas industry, the training centre is the first of its kind in the Sub Saharan region. Experts expressed regrets that while the Niger Delta region suffers all the negative impacts oil exploration offers indigenes of the area, billions of Naira is spent outside the country for the training of personnel in the industry. Therefore, with the facility such as the Ibom e-library which is uncommon in the Niger Delta region it was pertinent for Nigeria Oil and gas sector to recycle this revenue as such training will now take place in the heart of a peaceful city like Uyo in Akwa Ibom State.
The training is offered in specialized areas in the industry. From drilling fluids and drilling waste management to Cementing, Drill bits to Nexus Intermediate Reservoir Simulation. Hundreds of courses are expected to be covered in the training and research centre. This is indeed a dream come true.
The impact of the training and research centre within Akwa Ibom soil can never be over-emphasized. While techforest hope to partner with the research centre as a technically based venture in informing the people on the need to utilize fully the training the research centre, tech entrepreneurs will have the opportunity of building solutions that will be used by operators in the oil and gas industry for the improvement of the industry as regards Akwa Ibom State and the Niger Delta of Nigeria.
While commending Governor Udom Emmanuel and the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Science and Technology in this feat, I will however remind the governor that one important (I think most important) aspect of his promise to tech entrepreneurs is yet to be met. Tech entrepreneurs awaits seed funding to help startups rise in the region and give stability to the tech industry in Akwa Ibom State. We believe that the governor has not forgotten the third promise in his 5 points agenda which was wealth creation, therefore tech enthusiasts awaits such empowerment that will see startups towering in an administration whose primary goal is industrialization. A feat to cheap for the governor.
While we await government action in the foregoing paragraph, techforest can authoritatively say that the Ibom elibrary will soon become the centre of attraction for oil explorers globally with Professor Nse Essien constantly working with the governor’s dream to make the library as useful as it original design suggests. Presently, what we see is the re-molding of the Ibom e-library into what every Akwa Ibom indigene will be proud to associate with, and indeed Prof. Nse Udo Essien has not rested in achieving this remarkable feat.