The Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) has urged Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to champion the process that would discourage oil companies in the country from training their personnel abroad.
Mr Afe Mayowa, OGTAN’s President, made the appeal at the association’s Business Forum on Thursday in Lagos.
He said there was the need for NNPC and other government agencies to set the pace by discouraging training of personnel outside the country.
Mayowa explained that training of experts in the oil and gas sector overseas was injurious to the growth of the Nigerian economy when such training could be done in-country to save the nation billion of dollars.
He said the essence of the business forum was to create a platform to educate members and create opportunities for them to be able to have more knowledge and take the advantage of those opportunities.
According to him, we are not against training people outside the country, but what we mean is that some training should be done in Nigeria.
“The country is losing tremendously. The reason is that Nigeria has to be very patriotic. For example, the economy of Dubai and Ghana are being been boosted by Nigerian companies taking Nigerian training there.
“Taking Nigerian personnel to Ghana, with Nigerian instructors, with Nigerian participants, most times, these people go for shopping not for training.
“We kick against government agencies or oil and gas companies going abroad to train Nigerians on what ought to be 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 would 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,’’ he said.
Mayowa also urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to mandate all oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria to patronise and make OGTAN membership a pre-requisite for registering and handling projects in strict compliance with the Nigerian Content Development Act.
He called on government to partner with the association in the training and development of host community youths in line with NNPC’s quest for peace in oil and gas in such communities.
The Executive General Manger, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Total E&P Nigeria, Mr Vincent Nnadi, said that the company had invested greatly in human capacity in Nigeria and its host communities.
Nnadi, who delivered the keynote address on “Total Capacity Development in Nigeria’’, said that Total which is a major player in both offshore and onshore oil exploration in Nigeria had consistently focused on human capacity building development that was anchored by strong policies.
He said that the company with over 3,000 employees had invested greatly in its host community’s youths on capacity building development and entrepreneurial schemes.
According to him, over 42 community youths were sent for one training in Norway.
While TOTAL also partners with the University of Port Harcourt, University of Science and Technology, Abuja and Lagos Business School on 12 months programme courses for youths to study Masters and Postgraduate Diploma.
“We have also invested in science teachers within our operations centres, while we also invested in over 1,000 youths on skilled acquisition programmes of various skills.
“Over 1.5 million dollars is being invested in youth development annually to study at the Institute of Petroleum Studies.
“Our priority is ensuring that Nigerian youths are educated and independent,’’ he said. NAN