The Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) has called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as industry players in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to look inwards for their training needs, saying that a situation where oil companies send their personnel to abroad for trainings that are available in-country is injurious to the nation’s economy.
The President of OGTAN, Dr. Mayowa Afe said this on Thursday during the association’s Business Forum in Lagos. He called on the NNPC and other government agencies to set the pace by discouraging training of personnel outside the country. Afe who noted that the association was not against overseas training, said, “what we meant is that some training should be done in Nigeria.”
“The country is losing tremendously. Nigerians have to be patriotic. For example, the economy of Dubai and Ghana are being boosted whenever Nigerian companies take trainings available in-country to these countries.
“We kick against government agencies or oil and gas companies going abroad to train Nigerians on what ought to have been done in-country. We should go outside the country to acquire skills that are not in Nigeria.
“We want NNPC to champion the cause so that those training done outside the country could be done here be for the advantage of Nigeria and Nigerians. I repeat OGTAN is not against overseas trainings but there are some that can be done in-country,’’ Afe said.
Speaking further, the OGTAN President called on the Federal Government to pass a legislation mandating all oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria to patronize and make OGTAN members, adding that it should also serve as a pre-requisite for registering and handling contracts in the country in strict compliance with the Nigerian Content Development Act.
The keynote speaker, the Executive General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Total E&P Nigeria, Mr Vincent Nadi, in his speech said that his company has continued make huge investment in human capacity in Nigeria and its host communities. Speaking on a topic titled “Total Capacity Development in Nigeria’’, Nadi noted that Total as a major player in both offshore and onshore oil exploration in Nigeria has consistently focused on human capacity building development.
According to him, Total with over 3,000 employees has invested greatly in its host community’s youths capacity building development and entrepreneuring schemes.
He said that over 42 community youths sponsored to train in Norway. Adding that TOTAL also partner with University of Port Harcourt , University of Science and Technology Abuja and Lagos Business School on 12-months program courses for youths to study masters and post graduate diploma.
“We have also invested in science teachers within our operations centres, while we also invested in over 1000 youths on skill acquisition programmes of various skills
“Over 1.5 million dollars is being invested on youths development annually to study at the Institutes of Petroleum Studies.
“Our priority is ensuring that Nigerian youths are educated and independent,’’ Nadi said.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote in his remarks called on stakeholders in the industry to collaborate with OGTAN in the development of the human capacity in the country. According to him, “It is not all about the capacity that is not there, if you cannot patronise what is yours, you cannot develop the capacity.”
The ES who was represented by the Director, Planing, Research and Statistics, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Patrick Obah commended OGTAN’s efforts in bridging the gap between academia and the industry. He said, “What OGTAN is doing is good and commendable. All OGTAN needs is further encouragement for them to do all the trainings that it’s required of it.
“We cannot at this time compare ourselves with the kind of training we get maybe in places like MIT and some of those global standard institutions. But, we have training institutions like Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS) in Uniport. Of course, that meets global standards.k
OGTAN has been having different forums and the focus is on training and education in collaboration with the oil and gas industry players. Basically, it is for Nigerians to understand that there are opportunities in these areas they can tap into and that when they are trained, they should come back home and then network with the rest of the community to be able to disseminate the information and new knowledge they have acquired to be able to enrich Nigerians better.”
At the event were two guest speakers and beneficiaries of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd’s different interventions in human capacity building: Prof. Francisca Oladaipo, an associate professor and Head of Department, Computer Science, University of Lokoja and the Manager, Drilling Engineering Department, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Mr John Okoroafor.