HUMAN RESOURCE: AN IMPERATIVE FOR THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE OIL AND GAS SECTOR
In a radical departure from what generally are regarded as the major drivers and resources of the oil and gas industry such as oil reserves, acreages, pipelines, refineries, filling stations, etc, the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau points at human Resource development as the most important project that drives the growth and development of the sector.
Speaking on “Developing Capacity for the oil and gas industry-going forward” at the first National Education Summit organised by the oil and gas Trainers Association of Nigeria(OGTAN) in Lagos, Dr. Bello said that rapid advances in artificial intelligence, automation and human-machine interaction has not obscured the primacy of people in the running of oil and gas business. The ‘Human’ he said is central to the development, performance and sustainability of resource and tools deployed in the industry, and efforts must therefore be stepped up to recruit more talented oil and gas graduates to the industry and increase interest among current employees to sustain existing human resource pool.
“The question then becomes what can we do to ensure the development of the critical mass of human resources to satisfy the needs of the oil and gas industry and to then ensure the sustainability of Nigeria’s local content aspirations”.
The PTDF Executive Secretary identified the major obstacles to realising the objective to include absence of acceptable platforms for the development of skills and capacities for the industry, lack of effective co-ordination and silo approach to development of quality education and usable training.
“Interventions in research, development and human capital run into billions of dollars annually from all players, but these interventions are undertaken by each player in accordance with its determination and needs. There is largely no co-ordinated approach to the development of these capacities or indeed even the education aspects of the capacity”.
According to Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau, most E&P players in Nigeria offer different scholarship programmes. PTDF, which is statutorily mandated to build human and institutional capacity in the oil and gas industry, State governments and other government agencies also engage in similar programmes.
“There is hardly any acceptable data base of the skills or a hand book of the educational development requirements to fill identified human capacity gaps. While government agencies in the oil and gas, education and national planning sectors are all engaged in different aspects of determining education and skills requirements, private players in the industry are also doing the same to the extent of their needs and operational requirements”.
He said the resort to human capital importation which is against the local content law, is a consequence of lack of parity between national education and training interventions and the skills and competency requirements of the local oil and gas industry.
He therefore made a case for the creation of a single national platform for the co-ordination of all collaborative activities geared towards the development of education, and human capital by relevant players in the industry. This he said will ultimately lead to the provision of the skilled human capital resource requirement of the Nigeria oil and gas industry and to the sustenance of local content through quality education and training.
Kalu Otisi Esq.
Head, Press and External Relations (PTDF)
April 17, 2018