L-R; Emmanuel Emielu, Managing Director, Oil & Gas Soft Skills Limited, Udom Inoyo, Vice Chairman & In-Country Human Resources Manager, ExxonMobil, Audrey Ezigbo, Co-founder/Executive Director, Falcon Corporation, Dr. Ibilola Amao, Managing Director, Lonadek Inc, Engr. Felix Amieyeofori, Chairman, AOGS Advisory Council and Victor Banjo, CEO, Omari Consulting Services Limited at the 3th Africa Oil & Gas Talent Summit at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.
Many experts have tasked the Federal Government and other stakeholders to give priority to the development of human capital, capable of driving operations in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
Speaking at the opening of 3th Africa Oil & Gas Talent Summit, AOGS, in Lagos, Engr. Felix Amieyeofori, Chairman, AOGS Advisory Council, said this has become necessary, especially as, ‘people are the real assets’ in any economy.
Amieyeofori said the nation’s oil and gas industry currently needs very skillful human capital to drive operations while delivering value to stakeholders.
The Chairman who regretted that Nigeria has been ranked as one of the least nations in human capital index stated, “Nigeria ranked 152 out of 157 countries on the World Bank 2018 Human Capital Index list. Nigeria shared the bottom of the index with countries like Chad, South Sudan, Niger, Mali, and Liberia. Of the 85.08 million Labour force by 3rd quarter 2017, only 7.14 percent work in any form of industry, including the oil and gas industry.”
Ameieyeofori was perturbed that Africa with 2.6 trillion population till date has only about 58 refineries. He emphasised on the cost of drilling oil in Nigeria which is about $20 million
The Chairman asked, “When will Africa take ownership of its massive resources?” The continent will live with fossil fuel for a long time because there is no money to transit to other sources of energy.
Ameieyeofori disclosed that Africa has huge gas resources with low consumption, “We produce what we don’t use and we eat what we don’t produce.” This process will not give room for improvement in the continent.
He referred to Africa as a dark continent without virile power. For instance, Nigeria exports LNG gas to power other countries and the proceeds cannot even be accounted for, “Why don’t you use the same gas you produce to power your people instead of resorting to fire wood for domestic uses.”
“If we produce what we don’t eat and eat what we don’t produce it means there is problem,” he added.
Ameieyeofori was of the view that Africa oil and gas operators must domesticate oil business. The continent has huge hydrocarbon resources which is usually sold, “The resources is here but we only bother to sell.”
He gave a warning signal that Africa will soon grow from 1.26 billion population in 2017 to 2.45 billion in 2050. To solve the problem that this will portend in future is to develop people in order to avoid unemployment and related issues.
He spoke on investment in renewables noting that there are self-charging electric cars in some parts of the world. The question is, “How will Africa match the technology that will be in place in future.” Africa should think of how to collaborate.
However, there are ways out for the continent which includes: industry, academia and governments on the continent must face global realities. It should educate its people.
Ameieyeofori advised Africa to beware of disruptive technologies and its consequences adding that the continent should invest in Research and Development (R&D) and ensure manufacturing growth, “Bring technology home.”
He advocated that the continent should harness total hydrocarbon value chain to diversify into sustainable industrialization and employ its people and push for more market that will drive the economy.
Similarly, Udom Inoyo, Vice Chairman & In-Country Human Resources Manager, ExxonMobil, tasked stakeholders to embrace automation of workforce in order to boost output while adding value to bottom-line.
Also speaking, Prof. Wumi Ilerare, Director, Emerald Energy Institute, University of Port Harcourt said: “We don’t have adequate skills that will enable us to close the skill gap in the industry, and by extension, Nigeria’s economy.
“We do not have many engineers who can go into deep part of the ocean to weld and do various engineering works and designs.