Future of Africa’s oil, gas industry brightens with adequate investment in human capacity development – NCDMB

Solomon Ezeme

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has revealed that the future of the oil and gas industry will be brighter with adequate investment in Human Capacity Development. This was revealed in a statement released by the Board recently.

NCDMB stressed that Nigeria is leading Africa on Human Capacity Development in the oil and gas industry and can take the lead in helping the continent develop its oilfields.

Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Board in the statement said, “I can proudly say that we have the skilled workforce to lead and sustain the development of oil fields in Africa for the foreseeable future.

“All the major and serious oil and gas operating and service companies have Nigerians in very senior leadership positions and we are beginning to export our workforce across the world,” the NCDMB boss noted.

He said that the development of human capacity is needed to equip the workforce for the operation of new technologies.

Engr. Wabote also noted that the Board will ensure that the industry derives maximum benefits from huge investments and also ensure beneficiaries of the HCD training programmes find gainful employment in the industry.

“With the rapid advancement in technologies used in the oil and gas industry, our industry will continue to be manned by foreigners and expats.

“If we do not keep pace with the spate of technological development by developing the human capabilities required for the challenges of modern industrial technologies.

“It is with a view to developing the Nigerian workforce capable of leading and advancing technological developments in the oil and Gas industry and supporting the attainment of Nigerian local Content aspirations that the proponents of the NOGICD Act deemed it necessary to include clauses that mandate Employment and Training in the Act,” he said.

He further revealed that that the NCDMB has trained over 13,000 workforce in different skill areas and over 5,000 are gainfully employed.

Engr. Wabote also revealed that various capacity development initiatives have been executed by the Board including upgrading and commissioning of dilapidated facilities in vocational and tertiary institutions in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States; training of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers in secondary schools and promotion if Technical vocational Educational Systems (TVETS) policy across the country.

He said the Board has also equipped them with the needed modern tools and machines and has completed the ultra modern vocational centre of excellence which was initiated by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) in Port Harcourt.

The NCDMB boss further warned of imminent sanctions by the Board on companies in the country’s oil and gas sector reluctant to comply with the Board’s Human Capacity Development (HCD) provisions as contained in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.

He revealed that NCDMB will enforce periodic forensic audit for HCD programmes, and will ensure that companies found violating the NOGICD Act 2010 and the Ministerial Regulations in executing cost intensive Capacity Development Initiatives as mandated by the Act, are sanctioned.

He said, “It has come to the attention of the Board that some operating companies and services companies are reluctant to implement the HCD programmes as directed by the Board.

“Most of the companies are testing the mettle of the Board and I want to use this opportunity to inform erring companies that the Board will place appropriate sanctions on them as prescribed by the Act.”