By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) has appealed to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to championed the process that would discourage oil companies operating in the country from trainings their personnel abroad.
Mr Afe Mayowa, the OGTAN’s President said this at the association’s Business Forum in Lagos on the need for NNPC and other government agencies to set the paste by discouraging training of personnel outside the country.
Mayowa explained that training of experts in the oil and gas sector abroad is injurious to the growth of the Nigerian economy when such training can be done in-country to save the country billion of dollars.
He said that 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 meant was 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 trainings.
“Taking Nigerian personnel to Ghana, with Nigerian instructors, with Nigerian participants to Ghana to train. 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 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 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 further called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to mandate all oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria to patronize and make OGTAN members as a pre-requisite for registering and handling in the country in strict compliance with the Nigerian Content Development Act.
He also called on government to partner with the association in the training and development of host community youths in line with NNPC quest for peace in oil and gas host communities.
The Executive General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Total E&P Nigeria, Mr Vincent Nnadi, said that the company has invested greatly on human capacity in Nigeria and its host communities.
Nnadi who is the keynote speaker on a topic titled “Total Capacity Development in Nigeria’’ said that Total who is major player in both offshore and onshore oil exploration in Nigeria has consistently focused on human capacity building development that is anchored by strong policies.
He said that the company with over 3,000 employees has invested greatly in its host community’s youths on capacity building development and entrepreneuring schemes.
According to him, over 42 community youths was sent for one training in Norway, while 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 1.000 youths on skilled acquisition programmes of various skills
“Over 1.5 million dollars is been invested on youths development annually to study at the Institutes of Petroleum Studies.
“Our priority is ensuring that Nigerian youths are educated and independent,’’ he said.