Minister Tasks OTI Graduands On Nation-building, As V-C Stresses Character

By LetomNnen
The Minister of State for Education, HonourableChukwuemekaNwajiuba, has tasked graduands of the Offshore Technology Institute (OTI) to utilise the skills and knowledge they acquired from their training to enhance the development of the country. The Minister gave the charge at the maiden graduation/award-giving ceremony of the Institute, which held at the auditorium of the Institute of Petroleum Studies on Friday, January 31, 2020. 
Speaking before handing out awards to the Best Graduating Student, Jane Ozi who specialised in Subsea Engineering option and other awardees, HonourableNwajiuba commended the Acting Director, DrTobinson Briggs, Management of the University and the Industry partners for the quality of programmes the students were exposed to at the Institute. The Minister recalled that during his tenure as Chairman of TETFund Board of Trustees, he was worried at some point over the amount of money spent on the University until Dr Briggs briefed him on what they were doing at the Institute. 
“I became interested and decided to come and see what is going on here and to determine areas the Ministry of Education can collaborate with the Institute to advance this important initiative. The Minister expressed satisfaction with the numerous achievements recorded by the Management of the University under the leadership of Professor NdowaLale. 
“Let me seize this opportunity to congratulate the students on their accomplishments, as well as the University leadership for this remarkable achievement. It is worthy of mention that this noble achievement did not come on a platter of gold, but is the result of hard work, sacrifice, endurance and painstaking efforts on all sides. I am also convinced that the graduates are industry-tailored to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry. I charge the graudands to utilise their skills and competencies in the development of the Nigerian oil and gas sector and themselves,” the Honourable Minister said. He restated the Federal Government's commitment to quality tertiary education in Nigeria. 
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, Professor NdowaLale, congratulated the graduands, leadership of OTI and the Industry partners on the graduation ceremony, advising them to translate the knowledge and skills they have acquired in impacting the industry. “We join you to savour your accomplishments on this programme, but you must prepare to make the transition from the classroom to the industry and the larger society. You should be ready to meet and interact with new people beyond your profession. If you make new friends, it would open you up to new career opportunities. I can bet you that you did not learn everything you needed in the classroom and in practical field sessions. While competition is good for you as a motivating factor, you must learn to move at your own pace without engaging in cut-throat competition with your professional colleagues. Remember that character and integrity will count at every turn in your career,” Professor Lale advised them.
In their remarks, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Ogbonna Joel and Acting Director of OTI, Dr Briggs, congratulated the students on their graduation, commending Management and the Industry partners for their valued input. Professor Joel expressed satisfaction with the many achievements of the Faculty, while the Acting Director had earlier explained that the Institute currently runs three graduate programmes in Pipeline, Offshore and Subsea Engineering. “The Institute would soon commence a Master of Science degree programme in Energy Access and Renewable Energy Technology.” Dr Briggs, who had earlier conducted the Minister on a facility tour of the temporary site, attributed the success of the Institute to the premium placed on discipline and hard work.
Goodwill messages also poured in from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Professor AnthoniaOkerengwo, Engineering Manager of TechnipFMC, Jonathan Ogbekhilu, who represented the Country Manager, TayoAkinkunmi and other Industry Partners. The 7th Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka who initiated the programme, and pioneer Director of OTI, Professor John Okoli, also delivered goodwill messages at the event.  The Honourable Minister had earlier paid a courtesy visit on the Vice chancellor at the Governing Council Chambers.

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