Nigeria’s oil/gas Indigenous operators must invest in skills to compete globally – Experts


Industry experts in the oil and gas sector have advised managers of the Nigeria economy and indigenous operators to strategically invest in human capital which she has in abundance to compete globally in the oil space.

They argued that in the absence of investment in technology and required finance to drive growth in the oil and gas sector, Nigeria is left with only the option of building capacity and capability in the technicians, operators, and administrators for all the various industries in the oil and gas sector.

Emmanuel Emielu, CEO Oil and Gas Soft Skills Limited in an interview with BusinessDay observed that manpower training and development was severely affected in the last two to three years as a result of the volatility in the global oil price.

He opined that all the International Oil Companies and oil service firms and even our indigenous companies lay off a lot of their staff, cutting cost on work force development and trainings.

According to him, “The greatest thing Nigeria could be doing to herself is using her resources to develop her citizens because these developed skills will in turn drive the growth the economy Nigeria.

Those who know in the sector rates people skills and skills retention as the second most likely factor to impact oil and gas business over the next three years, ahead of instability and uncertainties in the global oil market.

Humphrey Onyeukwu, an energy expert insist that in order to stand out and increase employability in a re-energised oil and gas market, Organisations need to improve not only their general management skills, but also their specific industry skills.

He opined that in addition to being able to handle tasks within the traditional sphere of planning, procurement and execution, they must be knowledgeable individuals who can handle the complexities of each oil project in today’s global business environment.

He further said Marketability in oil related field is important in today’s interconnected world, because international companies operating in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector also tend to have strong footprints in other oil-producing regions across the world.

It is important to note that Nigeria’s oil and gas sector today is characterised by joint venture agreements between the state-owned oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and seven international oil companies (IOCs), six of which are foreign-owned.

In partnership with the NNPC, these six multinationals (Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Agip, Elf and Texaco) are responsible for the production of about 95% of Nigeria’s crude oil, the country’s biggest source of foreign earnings.

They observe that as oil prices begin to rise and activities ramp up in the industry, individuals who have invested in developing their skills and knowledge towards creating successful project outcomes stand a better chance of being involved in the exciting projects that are on the horizon.

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Author: Destiny Young
Destiny Young, a Senior IT Engineer, is an information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. A Computer Science graduate with a First Class MBA (Cybersecurity) from Nexford University, Washington DC. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA) and currently a PhD Candidate in Information Systems with interest in Cybersecurity and Cloud technology. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BSC), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA). Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.

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