Experts have challenged workers in the oil and gas industry to obtain innovative and technology-driven skills and expertise required to secure a position in over 80 million jobs that would be created as a result of the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption to renewable energy sources.
The experts made this known at the maiden edition of the Annual Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Energy and Labour Summit 2022, tagged ‘’Energy Transition and its Effect on Workforce in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector” held on Monday in Abuja.
Addressing members of PENGASSAN and other participants at the summit, the experts say innovation and technology-driven business plans will drive the energy transition era.
Dr. Bala Wunti, Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), in his address while speaking on the topic: “Positioning the Nigerian Energy Industry and Its Workforce for the Future” urged oil and gas workers to expose themselves to advanced leadership training and skills including deployment of information, communication, and technology (ICT) in solving industry-related issues.
He said, “The future starts today, you need to secure your place, recreate yourselves and understand what tomorrow holds for us.
“With a combination of innovation, technology, expertise, and trust, you have secured your position into the global energy future leaders,” he said.
Speaking on the need to create a balance between energy security and energy transition, he said Nigeria had already planned to achieve energy sufficiency by 2026 and attain net-zero emissions by 2060.
According to him, everyone wants energy, and nobody wants emissions but there is no way we can achieve that level of stability of energy security without the use of fossil fuels.
He decried the fact that fossil fuel was being discriminated against and lacked finance while the Ukraine-Russian war had triggered many things in the sector including the reintroduction of the business of dirty coal.
Wunti said that larger economies were prioritising energy transition ahead of climate change concerns.
The NAPIMS boss noted Nigeria must attract investments and develop legislation that could enable energy transition create balance and ensure attainment of national goals without compromising energy security.
Mrs. Evi Ifekwe, the Executive General Manager, Human Resources, at Total Energies, noted that an estimate of about 78 million new jobs is likely to be created during the energy transition.
Ifekwe said technological and entrepreneurial skills are the criteria required to fit into the energy future. She added that workers in the oil and gas industry need to begin to identify the roles they can play in the new energy world.
Mr. Jide Adebulehin, the General Manager, Strategy Planning and Documentation at, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), revealed that the Fund is making efforts to incorporate more training, retraining, and courses in the curriculum of tertiary institutions in line with energy transition.
He said the PTDF is ready to partner with stakeholders across various institutions of learning to review the curriculum, for preparing the needed manpower for the energy future.
Mr. Festus Osifo, PENGASSAN National President, the global commitment to achieving net-zero targets and reducing greenhouse carbon emissions are some of the reasons why major oil and gas companies are leaving the petroleum industry into the renewable space.
Osifo said most of these investments had gone to the area of research and development of solar energy, hydrogen, hydro biomass, biofuels, and wind energy among others.