The Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, has called on the Federal Government to make both local and International Oil Companies (IOC) operating in the country to employ more Nigerian oil and gas professionals.
Speaking at the Close Out seminar in Abuja, Executive Secretary of the Fund, Mr. Femi Ajayi, lamented the fact that it’s not fair for Nigerian professionals to burn the candle, work hard and graduate with flying colours then end up unemployed.
According to him, the Federal Government needs to put in place, measures that will ensure that both local and international oil companies employ indigenous professionals, especially scholars of the PTDF scholarship scheme.
“The issue is not just competence and capability, there is also the need for political will among the IOCs and the government. We cannot rely on the goodwill of the IOCs when it comes to the issue of employing of our people; they have to be compelled to do it.”
He emphasized the need for all stakeholders in the petroleum industry to contribute their quota towards ensuring that indigenous professionals are gainfully engaged and also that the funds and efforts expended in training these professionals are not futile.
“When we train all these people, give them the research competence and the experience that they have, there is the issue of getting them gainfully engaged locally.
‘There are certain roles that government should play and the role that the private sector needs to play; everyone needs to play their individual roles, because at the end of the day, if we put so much money to train these people, yet it does not lead to domestication of some of these things that we want domesticated, it means we are just spending money, we are not getting the results,” he noted.
Ajayi, however, commended the federal Government for setting up the Nigerian Content Development Management Board, NCDMB, urging the government to empower the agencies and others to deliver on the mandate.
He further stated:
“There is no running away from funding, training, research and development. It is not by accident that the most technological advanced countries in the world, they have the best communication systems, they have the most reliable power systems, they have the most efficient transport systems, and it is not by accident. So if you want any of these things, you must fund training, you must fund research and development.”