By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN), operators of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Joint Ventures has unveiled plans to invest N13 billion (US$43 million) in three community assistance projects in Akwa Ibom State.
MPN Chairman/Managing Director, Mr. Paul McGrath, made this known during the ground breaking ceremony of a Technical Skills acquisition Centre, one of the projects in Ikot Akata, Mkpat Enin local government area of the state.
According to McGrath, others include a Trauma Centre to be cited at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and an Engineering complex at the University of Uyo.
He said that the projects are part of the company’s corporate social responsibility for Akwa Ibom people “amounts to one of the largest community investments by any company in Nigeria will provide long-term health, education and economic benefits to many.”
McGrath explained that the Technical Skills Centre would consist of a three-block training complex for critical skills required in oil and gas careers, such as pipeline fabrication, welding, electrical works, chemical lab works, civil works and engineering design is hoped to train more than one hundred students annually.
While the Trauma Centre which is to be housed in a two-floor medical complex will help reduce mortality rates in major medical emergencies.
Its components, according to him will include a Resuscitation and Burns Room; Theatre Suite; Helipad; Ambulance Bay and Triage area; High Dependency and Radiology Units; Mini Labs; Wards; Pharmacy; Administrative offices; Library; and Doctor call as well as Seminar Rooms.
He also said that the Engineering Complex which would be equipped with generators and independent water supply will have two floors of Workshops, Laboratories, a Lecture Theatre, Conference Rooms and Faculty offices.
He added that the engineering project when competed is expected to serve over 2,000 students, mostly from Akwa Ibom state.
The Managing Director assured that the projects would be completed within two years.
In his remarks, the NNPC Group General Manager, Mr. Roland Ewubare, assured that funds had been earmarked for the projects to ensure its timely completion.
Ewubare, who was represented by Mr. Hillary Akpan, General Manager Gas Operations National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) said that the choice of these projects was the outcome of extensive engagement with key stakeholders in the state.
He said that NAPIMS worked extensively in partnership with MPN in reviewing the investment proposals put forward for these projects.
Ewubare said that projects when completed would provide significant opportunities and boost the socio-economic lives of the benefiting communities in Akwa Ibom.
He appealed for continued cooperation of the youths adding, “I will like to thank the people of Akwa Ibom state for the relative peace and calm that the joint venture had experienced during its operations in the state.”
In his remarks, Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom said the choice of the site of the projects were to ensure sustainability.
He commended the Managing Director of Mobil Producing Nigeria and NNPC for making the ground breaking for the projects a reality.
He assured the investors of adequate security during throughout the duration of the projects.