Gowon to Chair 2019 OGTAN Conference

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Yakubu Gowon

Peter Uzoho

A former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), will be chairing the upcoming 2019 Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), holding next month with the theme: “Human Capacity Development as a Driver for National Transformation: Issues and Possibilities”.

The conference organised in collaboration with the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will hold from April 13 to 16, 2019 in Lagos.

Announcing the programme at a press conference in Lagos, the President of OGTAN, Dr. Afe Mayowa, said Gowon had already confirmed that he would be physically present at the conference.

He said the former military ruler would lead discussants comprising of top government and industry officials including Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr.Ibe Kachukwu; Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, SimbiWabote; and Chairman of SystemSpec, Dr Christopher Kolade, among others.

Highlighting the significance of the conference, Mayowa stressed that OGTAN recognised the link between the quality of a nation’s workforce and its economic growth. He noted that an onslaught of complex and broad ranging socio-economic challenges including poor governance, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, outdated educational curriculum, poor funding of research centres, social unrest and increasing poverty, have affected the Nigerian human capital over the years.

He further said: “The training association, in identifying this gap shall assemble resource persons to deliberate on the solutions as it relates to generating sustainable employment with a direct impact on the country’s GDP.

“While it admits the urgent need to address the widening debt profile of states and unemployment among Nigeria’s young population, OGTAN is also using this conference to address the rapid advancement of digitalisation, automation, artificial intelligence, and how it compounds the increasing concern about the future of job security, wealth redistribution, and comparatively rising cost of implementing local content where these advancements are lacking.”

According to him, over 500 delegates including exhibitors are expected at the event, adding that 50 young professionals will be trained at the conference to prepare them for jobs ahead.

The OGTAN boss also disclosed that awards will be given out to top industry players for their achievements and contributions to the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.