The President Pro Tempore of the Senate has proposed the establishment of a Petroleum Institute at the University of Liberia (UL).
In the mind of Pro Temp Armah Jallah, the positive signal that Liberia will soon be a petroleum producing country, indicates that there is a need for the country to start preparing Liberian engineers, especially the youth, for the task of steering the country’s petroleum future.
The Gbarpolu County lawmaker made the proposal recently when he received as guest at his Capitol Building office the UL president, Dr. Emmett A. Dennis.
During their discussions, Senator Jallah reminded Dr. Dennis about the need for such an institute, but suggested that through the UL president’s initiative, arrangements could be concluded for a partnership with the Coventry University in the United Kingdom for the establishment of the Petroleum Institute.
Pro-Tempore Jallah disclosed that he was inspired by a similar venture undertaken by the Ghanaians—an example which he noted had resulted to tangible dividends toward the manpower development and expertise in their petroleum industry.
The Gbarpolu County Senator further explained that the rationale for the institute is to protect and create job opportunities for Liberians, who would be ready to work in the industry when the time comes.
Senator Jallah expressed fear that unless serious attention is paid to preparing Liberians, the country’s Petroleum sector will be overtaken by foreigners to the detriment of the country.
Due to the seriousness attached to his proposal, Senator Jallah promised to link UL authorities with the Coventry University as soon as possible.
In response, Dr. Dennis expressed appreciation to Pro-Tempore Jallah for his proposal and said he is committed to pursuing the birth of the institute immediately. He promised to send a delegation to Ghana which will be headed by Senator Albert Chie, also a lecturer at the Geology Department of UL, to conduct feasibility studies on the Ghanaian module.
Dr. Dennis then informed Pro-Tempore Jallah about the difficulties faced by UL owing to inadequate funding to run the University.