Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has disclosed that at the Nigeria’s oil industry does not have a unified database of all the skills required by its operators across board to enable them drive productivity.
It explained that such development has made it difficult to replace capacity gaps identified by oil and gas industry operators locally and resort to foreign sources to fill up such human capacity gaps.
The Executive Secretary of PTDF, Dr. Bello Gusau stated this at the first national education summit organised by the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) recently in Lagos.
Gusau explained that despite the introduction of artificial intelligence in the operations of the global oil and gas industry, the place of a human interface has not changed much, hence the need to continually upgrade the skillset of people in the industry to meet the dynamic demands of the sector.
According to him, humans are still central to the development, performance and sustainability of resource and tools deployed in the oil industry, and efforts must be stepped up to recruit more talented oil and gas graduates to the industry, as well as 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,” Gusau stated.
He identified the major obstacles to realising the objective of improving the industry’s human resource base 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.
Gusau said: “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.”
He further explained: “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.”
According to him, 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.
Gusau called for the creation of a single national platform for the coordination of all collaborative activities geared towards the development of education, and human capital by relevant players in the industry.
He said this will ultimately lead to the provision of skilled human capital resource requirement of the country’s oil and gas industry, as well as the sustenance of local content through quality education and training.