Domestication of personnel training in the oil and gas industry saves the nation about $50 million yearly, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, has said. He made this known at the graduation of trainees from Danvic Petroleum School in Lagos.

Wabote, represented by the Board’s General Manager, Capacity Building Division, Ikponmwosa Oviasu, told Press men on the side-lines at the event that before the signing of the Nigerian Content Act in 2010, the nation was losing $100million to foreign training in the industry.

He said: “We are here to support the graduation of the first set of trainees from the Danvic Petroleum School after the completion of six months training programme. That is the first phase and the second phase, which is critical, is the attachment of the trainees to the industry for the on-the-job training for 12 months.

“Danvic has made them acquire the prerequisite experience that will make them ready for the industry. I can assure you once they finish the one year attachment to oil firms, they will become really employable and will be ready to face all the challenges in the industry.

“The Board values human capital seriously and we have done similar things in the past by assisting geoscientists and attaching them to major oil companies – Shell, Chevron and Mobil, and marginal fields operators, among others. We work with all stakeholders to ensure we attain common goals.

“Therefore, the essence of this training is to ensure that Nigerians participate in the industry by acquiring critical skills for work being done by expatriates. We will continue to support players, such as Danvic, to ensure that the trainees are made for employment in the industry.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Danvic Petroleum International Nigeria, owners of the petroleum school, Dr. Mayowa Afe, told The Nation that institution was established to bridge the gap between the university and industry to enable the students of the institution acquire the knowledge that was not imparted to them in tertiary schools.

He noted that the good thing about the institution was that upon graduation, the students would be helped to get jobs within one year so that the company can use it to assess you for proper employment.

“I’m glad to tell you that the graduates are starting work this week and the companies will be paying up to N250,000 per month as interns. Some people that graduated from universities in Nigeria stay up to five years in the labour market looking for jobs. They go for interviews and don’t get employed.

“Therefore, this is a realisation of our long-term vision. Those that are unemployed, some of them have been outside the university for about five years and age is no longer on their side. They are not working and if they are called for interviews, they cannot pass. This is a school that is bridging the gap for them and we will establish the first oil and gas university in Nigeria. That is where we are going but we are starting with these steps to actualise it. If we are able to train our people and they become employable, it will certainly reduce the number of foreigners we bring into Nigeria to work. Our objective is to train Nigerians to become professionals that the oil and gas industry would be proud to employ,” he added.

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