Executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Management Board, Mr. Simbi Wabote, has said that there is an urgent need for the federal government, as well as stakeholders to promote of quality petroleum education and development of competent manpower that would help Nigeria meet the challenges of the ongoing energy transition and expected boom in the gas sector.
Delivering the convocation lecture at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) Effurun, Delta State, he canvassed that as western nations shift their attention from oil and gas and focus on the provision of funding, manufacturing of equipment, and development of supply chain to support their renewable energy sources, hydrocarbon-rich countries, including Nigeria, should develop the requisite capacity and capability to produce and utilize their fossil fuel resources.
Wabote whose lecture title was, “Defining the Value of Local Content in Petroleum Education,” posited that the ongoing debate and the deadlines being set in respect of energy transition underscored the need to develop home-grown skill sets to develop and manage the nation’s natural resources.
He stressed that “the narrative around energy transition has further revealed the need to ensure that there is a direct link between our petroleum education and the development and utilization of our hydrocarbon resources, so we are able to deal with any outcome of the transition.”
Commenting on the recent enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and the Decade of Gas initiative, Wabote pointed out that those developments would not only engender investments and utilization of the nation’s estimated 600 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves but also lead to a boom in the gas sector, which would benefit discerning institutions, investors, operators, and service providers.
“These scenarios require a robust petroleum education sector to ensure that our in-country skill sets are available and sufficient to support the exploration, development, production, and processing of hydrocarbon resources,” the NCDMB boss stated.
He charged educational institutions in Nigeria to prepare for the opportunities and challenges of energy transition and gas revolution by preparing robust curriculum in petroleum education with the mindset of enabling Nigerians develop and utilize our hydrocarbon resources using our home-grown technology.
The institutions, he stressed, should put require greater focus on development of top-notch graduates to enable the development of Nigerian hydrocarbon resources – especially gas.
This he further explained “will ensure that we are not forced out from the development of hydrocarbon resources due to lack of technical capability as was the case with coal development in Enugu.”
He maintained that FUPRE is an institution devoted to petroleum education and should be at the forefront of preparing our manpower needs for any outcome or impact of energy transition.