As part of the efforts to bridge the gap between the universities and the oil and industry, Danvic Petroleum International Corporation has produced the first set of graduates from its training centre after a six-month geosciences training.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Danvic, Dr. MayowaAfe, stated that Danvic Petroleum Training Centre was set up to bridge the gap between the universities and the oil industry by providing graduates with the requisite practical knowledge.
â€œWe are all aware that recent geoscience graduates from some of our universities are lacking in the necessary skills and exposure that could guarantee their employability in a multiâ€“task world â€“ class geoscience environment of today. This unfortunate scenario over the years before the advent of the Nigeria Government local content policy has led to many international oil and gas companies who are here for business to go abroad to recruit candidates for positions in Nigeria and at best some go to foreign universities (USA, UK and Europe) to recruit privileged Nigerians students studying abroad at the detriment of their colleagues studying in Nigerian universities,â€ Afe explained.
Afe said the skills impacted on the graduands would ensure the employability of the Nigerian graduates, particularly in the geosciences, and boost local content in the industry.
â€œHistory is made today. To us, this is a big step towards the realisation of a dream and the vision of establishing a full-fledged private oil and gas university that could complement governmentâ€™s effort and help provide the necessary manpower for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and indeed Africa, thereby increasing indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry,â€ Afe said.
According to him, recent geosciences graduates from some universities are lacking in the necessary skills and exposure that can guarantee their employability today.
â€œThis unfortunate scenario, over the years, before the advent of the local content policy made many international oil companies in the country to go abroad to recruit candidates for positions in Nigeria and, at best, some go to foreign universities to recruit privileged Nigerians students to the detriment of their colleagues studying in Nigerian universities. I am happy that all our graduating students today are already fixed and accepted to carry out a one-year internship programme with various oil companies in the execution of practical exploration and production project. It is our projection and hope that at the completion of this programme, all these students will be industry-ready. It is our belief that some will be gainfully employed before the completion of the one-year programme,â€ Afe explained.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. SimbiWabote, commended the company for the training programme.
â€œThe trainees will not only be equipped with all they need to become readily employable to face all the challenges in the oil and gas sector, but they would also be financially empowered by these companies,â€ said Wabote, who was represented by the agencyâ€™s General Manager in charge of Capacity Building, Mr. IkponmwosaOviasu.
Rice Stakeholders Task FG on Infrastructure
In a bid to boost food supply and provide more competitive source of incomes for Nigerians, the Chairman of Abakaliki Rice, Ebonyi region, Mr. Joseph Nnunu has charged the federal government to make agricultural infrastructure readily available and accessible to farmers. According to Nnunu, the major challenge facing the sector include unavailability of tractors, parboiling machines, drying machines, access roads, boreholes to mention just a few.
â€œWe are appealing to the federal government for their aid. This is one major reason that the cost of buying foreign rice is cheaper than ours. Government should encourage exporting our locally made product like the Abakaliki rice by providing them easy access to these infrastructures and place an outright ban on the importation of foreign rice in the countryâ€, he said.
While he applauded the efforts of the federal government in conjunction with United Nations to encourage more Nigerians to embark on farming in order to reduce high rate of scarcity of food, he stated that â€˜â€˜farmers are not meeting up with the high demand of our products by consumers due to lack of modern machines. This has led to a low turnout of agricultural output and accounts for the relatively high cost of local rice compared to foreign ones.â€
The World Bank, under its Growth and Employment (GEM), the World Bank had promised to provide financial support to Ainotrans Energy-the producers of Abakaliki rice to enable it engage the services of vendors that will aid in carrying out its marketing drive.
Managing Director of Ainotrans Energy, Mr. Innocent Mbey said that rice milling is capital intensive. â€˜â€˜We need aid from the Federal government in the provision of the necessary machines for the production of Abakaliki rice. Better machines in the production can equally enhance more standard quality. The level at which Abakaliki rice are being patronised is still at average percentage; this is due to the fact that the level of output by we farmers are not meeting up with the high demand of our products by consumers.
He also said that the federal government should deploy the media to sensitise citizens on the need to patronise locally made goods. â€˜â€˜They should also organise seminars to educate the citizens on the advantages of using our local products. It is only by placing more adverts in the media to enlighten Nigerians on the positive impact of patronising local contents that the country`s GDP and export base will improve. Abakaliki rice is seen as being expensive compare to foreign rice as a result of lack of machines in place thereby involving almost 80% of human power in the production of Abakaliki rice in which the cost of paying for this labour are expensive compare to when machines are used in the productionâ€™â€™, he noted.