The 4th quarter 2020 PTDF quarterly In-house lecture series was held virtually with the topic: Oil and Gas Operations Post Covid 19 Pandemic: Effects on Skills and Competencies and the Way Forward.
The Guest Speaker, Mr. Emeka Akabogu, Chairman of Oil Trade Logistics and convener of OTL Africa Forum while delivering the lecture said that the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) will need to refocus its capacity development programs to meet the emerging changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to continue delivering on its mandate of developing relevant industry competencies for Nigerians to be engaged in the oil and gas industry.
He said the pandemic had brought far-reaching changes to different sectors of the global economy and a good number of competencies that will be required for some operations in a post covid industry will be different. Adding that prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, various governments had in response to the need for cleaner and more sustainable alternatives to crude oil, come up with clear roadmaps to phase out fossil fuel use in cars and other means of transport.
Explaining the emerging challenges for oil-dependent economies like Nigeria due to the pandemic, he said the fall in demand had set in motion a domino effect with far-reaching implications. Production cuts leading to oil well abandonment has led to job losses and reduced investments due to the unattractive price of oil. Speaking further, he said that the pandemic has given renewed impetus to global efforts to expedite the process of energy transition and de-carbonization, all of which will shrink the available market for Nigerian crude oil.
Mr. Akabogu while highlighting the changing dynamics in manpower competencies and skills requirements for adapting to the post-pandemic realities said that, ICT-based skills will have increased relevance in the post-Covid-19 oil and gas industry operations. He mentioned that the Fund will need to “focus on competencies needed for gas conversion and utilization as well those needed for in-country oil and gas value addition”. He also stated that “There will also be a need for more technical positions in data science, data and software engineering, data analytics, machine learning, and detailed planning for cost-cutting FEEDS for engineers who possess strong communication and analytical skills for data analysis.”
The Executive Secretary, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau, in his response thanked the speaker for his timely and educative lecture. He said that “there is need for a paradigm shift in our capacity building programs because the industry is changing, the world is changing, and we have to march in tune with all these changes.” He noted that the Fund was alive to this fact and had also taken steps to integrate and reprioritize ICT into its operations.
Dr. Gusau further stated that the Covid-19 Pandemic had simply accelerated the major challenges that have been confronting the oil and gas industry over the years, he promised that the Fund was going to reflect on and deal with the salient issues derived from the lecture.

Press and External Relations Unit