The Petroleum Technology Development Fund has over the years concentrated its human capacity training programmes on developing skills, competencies and capabilities in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry. In this regard, there had been a preference for upstream related courses in its overseas and local scholarship awards (Msc &PhD) and in vocational skills training programmes.

Realizing the critical position of refining, distribution and marketing of petroleum resources in the petroleum value chain, PTDF plans to invest in training programmes that will enhance the capacity of Nigerians to play more effective roles in the mid and downstream sector of the industry.

Executive Secretary, PTDF Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau disclosed this when he received the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), Mr Ahmed Bobboi on a courtesy visit. 

He said “When you talk about upstream you are talking about money especially in Nigeria but when you talk about the downstream, you are talking about development, you are talking about jobs and you are talking about linkages with other sectors of the economy. So to that extent, PTDF’s plan is not really misplaced to focus more capacity building in those areas that will lead not just to sourcing of revenue, but will create linkages to other sectors of the economy, but more important is creating development and jobs for this country, so we think its high time this is done and we in the PTDF are moving towards that direction”.

Dr Gusau informed his guest about the drive by PTDF to domesticate most of its training programs in-country in view of the prevailing economic realities in Nigeria, pointing out that, the move will afford PTDF the opportunity to impact on a larger number of people without compromising standards.

This he said, would be implemented using the specialized institutions developed and managed by the Fund as well as its upgraded departments across Nigerian universities which already have the requisite infrastructure, laboratory and workshop facilities and relevant faculty to drive the domestication process.

“Over the years we spent quite huge amount of resources in training people abroad, there is need to sustain that activity but we need to start paying attention to build that capacity here, to make sure that more and more people benefit. We all know the situation of our country today and we do realize that, to impact on a larger number of people we need a new paradigm shift, on what we do. Be that as it may, we are not going to close down the overseas program, it will continue, but in a modified form. What we are focusing on will be in two forms. One, we will work with sister agencies to ensure that the products of our trainings are engaged. We will continue our interface with Nigerian universities by sustaining the infrastructure, facilities for teaching and learning and faculty development. So most of the capacities we are looking for are already here”.

He disclosed that, PTDF is developing two premier training institutions in Kaduna and Port Harcourt, that would be utilized to train both executive, senior, middle and lower level manpower for the industry, where oil companies and agencies in the industry can leverage for the training needs of their personnel and staff.

In his remark, the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Equalization Fund, Mr Ahmed Bobboi said the visit is to sustain existing co-operation and collaboration between PTDF and PEF and also to see how the two agencies can work together to solve the emerging industry challenges.

 “Recently the Minister of Petroleum Resources launched so many programs including the 7 big wins and others, the PIB is in the National Assembly, developments are happening around the industry, and we felt it is proper for us to look inwards and see how we can co-operate and collaborate, work together, try to see how the agencies will add value to the economy of Nigeria and see how we can leverage on each other’s potentials. PTDF has policy for staff training particularly within the industry, we want to see how we can leverage on that”.

PTDF and PEF agreed to raise a joint committee that will work out areas of possible collaboration in the interest of the growth and development of the industry.