Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, has said that Nigerian tertiary institutions have fallen short in the aspect of human capital development required for the oil and gas industry.

Wabote said this while speaking at the just concluded two-day virtual stakeholders workshop on human capital development organised by the Board.

The NCDMB boss said that although Nigeria is leading Africa in terms of human capacity development in the oil and gas industry, universities have not kept pace with the development in the industry and as a result, and have not been able to meet the observed competence gaps in the field.

According to him, the observed competence gaps and safety requirements in the industry necessitated the need to continuously improve Nigeria’s workforce in the oil and gas industry, hence the board administrators in the industry spend a lot of resources  each year in different capacity developments to ensure the industry derive maximum benefit for the huge investment being made.

“We want to ensure that the skill sense that we are developing is relevant and urgently needed in the industry. We want to ensure that graduates of tertiary institutions and training programmes find gainful employment in the industry.

“We want to ensure that all the operating companies in the industry are contributing their quota. We want to ensure that our tertiary institutions are equipped to meet the challenges of training the modern workforce required by the industry. Finally We want to ensure and make sure that trainers in our programmes have access and opportunity for internship programmes that will enable them to hone their skills and become the best in the world,” he said.

The NCDMB boss noted that from the inception of the NOGATE Act, “the board has trained over 13,000 workforce in different skills areas and over 5,000 of this beneficiary are gainfully employed in the industry.”

According to him, to prove the rate of absorption of the beneficiaries of our programmes, the board formulated to 60 20 20 principles, which demands that 60% of the beneficiaries of the board’s training programmes can have direct line of sight for employment in the industry, while 20% of the beneficiaries will have the opportunity to learn the skills required for their current role in the industry, and the last 20% the new joiners in the industry.

“This way, they ensure steady flow of skill and human capital in the oil and gas industry. Human capital development guidelines introduce the institutional strengthening requirements which mandate spending up to 60% from the institutes’ budget on major projects in improving facilities in the vocational and tertiary institutions.

“The Initiative was informed by the findings and observations of the study conducted by the vocational institutions in these states namely: Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers State. It is important to emphasize that when you attend seminars and workshops everybody clamors for the establishment of vocational institutions.

“The study that I referred to, identified about 2000 vocational institutions in these three states and sadly, none of those 2000 vocational institutions are functional. Study finds deceptive states of infrastructure in these schools, absence of funding for vocational and technology driven instructors in the school and the need for re-equipping the teachers with modern curriculum and skills needed to train in the modern workforce.

“The outcome of this study is also informed as science, technology, engineering and mathematics programmes in secondary schools and technical vocational educational system.”

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