NSE Pledges Intensive Capacity Building to Bridge Competency Gaps

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Funmi Ogundare

Chairman, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Victoria Island Branch, Mr. John Audu has expressed the society’s readiness to expose Nigerian engineers to more intensive and strategic training opportunities so as to bridge the competency gaps among them.

Audu, who made this known, recently at the end of year dinner and public lecture titled, “The Impact of NOGICD Act 2010 on In-Country Contractors Capabilities’, said the move was necessary to deliver the needed change, engender innovation and entrepreneurship among them, adding that it would be deploying the training from the first quarter of 2020.

According to him, “We have been trying our best over the years by exposing engineers to good quality training opportunities,  but this time, we are taking it to the next level by making it more intensive and strategic so we can deliver the change that Nigerian engineers need in order to bridge the competency gaps.

“At our branch, we have series of training opportunities that we have developed and will be deploying as from the first quarter of next year. Each of it is targeted specifically at addresing the competency gaps amongst our engineers, but more importantly,  our target is to engender innovation and entrepreneurship among them.”

In order to ensure the competency of its members, he said the NSE has set up the Nigerian Content Monitoring Board (NCMB) designed to ensure that every project from the oil and gas sector, as well as associated companies, have training embedded in their contracts for Nigerians to be trained and capacity to be built in-country on and off the job and in-classroom.

Speaking on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, enacted in April 2010 and its impacts on members, Audu noted that the idea is to ensure that the quantum of Nigerians involved in the oil and gas industry, is significantly increased tremendously mainly through the international oil companies.  He added that it is also designed to build capacity in Nigeria and for Nigerians to do work in -country as much as possible.

“It’s been a gradual process and it has been remarkable because there has been a lot of achievement in this area of building capacity in -country. There are many success stories with several Nigerian companies owning world class pipeplay vessel and fabricated yards . That was not the case a decade ago. More Nigerian companies are involved in the design of projects within Nigeria and more are going into Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts.”

Emphasising how other countries could benefit from some of the capacity building initiatives that would further impact positively on Nigeria and make it globally competitive, the chairman said, “At NSE, our main interest is in making Nigerian engineers relevant in the society and globally competitive. It is the reason why the NSE president never compromise on the quality of graduates that get inducted into the society. Ultimately, we aim to ensure that any of our members can work anywhere in the world and this is beginning to happen gradually.”

In her remarks, the General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Anike Odunlami said the organisation was building capacity of engineers to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry, adding that for companies that wants to do business with such oil and gas industry, they have to meet certain requirements such as registering with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

“We are trying to build our own capacity to meet the needs of our own oil and gas industry. There is certainly a time when we will be able to compete internationally and regionally and we will see commercial opportunities coming.

“For contracts, there is a process that companies have to follow to be able to do business in the oil and gas industry and, they have to go through the DPR registration. There are certain requirements they must meet. There is transparency in the process, it’s just for people to know where to go.”