Total E&P says it has so far pumped over $30 million into the advancement of training, studies and research in Nigeria exemplified in the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS) in the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. This is as the IPS last week inducted its class of 2019 students in grand style.
The amount invested so far was revealed by the Managing Director, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, Mike Sangster, who was represented at the event by the Executive General Manager, Godwin Barika.
Sangster said: “So far, Total E&P has invested over $30 million under its partnership with the University of Port Harcourt in the areas of capacity building, infrastructure, research and associated programmes. Today’s event (the induction/anniversary ceremony of 20 MSc and 20 PGD graduates) stands as a fitting tribute to the foresight of the initiators of this partnership, particularly with research to the IPS.”
Expressing joy at the achievement, the MD said the oil company is proud to be part of the success story of the IPS.
The 40 students, 20 of who did Master’s Degree programme while 20 did Post Graduate Diploma, all came out in flying colours with A-class, a feat that made the 16th induction ceremony historic. Also for the first time in the history of the institute, five of its students graduated with distinctions.
The MD said: “In addition to capacity development, the IPS has fostered a strong partnership between the petroleum industry and research institutions and development agencies, thus linking the oil and gas industry with other industries and stakeholders.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt, the professor, Ndowa E.S. Lale, commended Total E&P and said the collaboration between the IPS and Institute Francaise du Petrole (IFP) has enriched the programmes of IPS.
In his speech, chairman of the Governing Board of the Institute, Abiodun Afolabi, said that IPS was formed in 2003 when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the University of Port Harcourt, the IFP and Total E&P envisioned to establish an institute which will become the foremost international centre of excellence in Nigeria, offering specialized programmes in Petroleum Geosciences and Technology, Petroleum Economics and Management, and Petroleum Policy and Strategic Studies.
In his lecture on The Role of Collaboration in Institutional Stability, Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mele Kyari, who was represented by Ben Norhile, said that collaboration brings about efficiency as could be seen in that between IPS and IFP.
Kyari, who noted that the NNPC is in collaboration with most oil companies such as Shell, Chevron, Mobil, etc, explained that when individuals or institutions collaborate, new energies are created.
Highlights of the event were the conferment of Fellow of IPS Awards on Mele Kyari and Olatunji Akinwunmi, and presentation of awards to deserving stakeholders as well as the induction of the 40 graduands.