By Chris Eriyamremu, Warri
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote says more home grown manpower is required to develop, manage and take over the potential opportunities in the country’s oil and gas sector.
To achieve this, Wabote said the Nigerian Government and stakeholders must ensure that quality petroleum education and development of competent manpower is given adequate attention and priority.
Wabote noted that this would help Nigeria meet the challenges of the ongoing energy transition and expected boom in the gas sector.
The local content champion, Wabote, gave the important recommendations in his convocation lecture, which he delivered at the weekend, at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) Effurun, Delta State, titled “Defining the Value of Local Content in Petroleum Education.”
” The narrative around energy transition has further revealed the need to ensure that there is a direct link between our petroleum education and the development and utilization of our hydrocarbon resources, so we are able to deal with any outcome of the transition.”
” The enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and the Decade of Gas initiative, are developments that would not only engender investments and utilization of the nation’s estimated 600 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves but also lead to a boom in the gas sector, which would benefit discerning institutions, investors, operators, and service providers.”
“ These scenarios require a robust petroleum education sector to ensure that our in-country skill sets are available and sufficient to support the exploration, development, production, and processing of hydrocarbon resources.”
” Educational institutions in Nigeria should prepare for the opportunities and challenges of energy transition and gas revolution by preparing robust curriculum in petroleum education with the mindset of enabling Nigerians develop and utilize our hydrocarbon resources using our home-grown technology. The institutions should put require greater focus on development of top-notch graduates to enable the development of Nigerian hydrocarbon resources – especially gas.”
” We will ensure that we are not forced out from the development of hydrocarbon resources due to lack of technical capability as was the case with coal development in Enugu.”
Wabote said FUPRE as an institution devoted to petroleum education should champion the development and preparing our manpower needs for any outcome or impact of Energy Transition.
The industry guru however faulted the western world moves to demonize or de-marketing other energy sources as well as extracting commitments and setting unrealistic deadlines for countries to abandon fossil fuels.
” All nations must jealously guard their locally available sources of energy and ensure they remain in their energy mix for the benefit of their people.”
” However, divestment had resulted in the emergence of indigenous companies playing major roles in exploration and production activities, companies like AITEO, FIRST E&P, EROTON, and others have acquired assets and are now responsible for producing about 15% of Nigeria’s oil and more than 60% of domestic gas.”
” It is unfortunate that the divestment of the international oil companies and their reluctance to make further investments in oil and gas have resulted in the repatriation of capital out of Nigeria.”
“This stifles the nation’s economy of the much needed foreign exchange with funds used as loans to acquire oil and gas assets instead of being used to develop new production assets,”
According to him, ” As western nations shift their attention from oil and gas and focus on the provision of funding, manufacturing of equipment, and development of supply chain to support their renewable energy sources, it is imperative that Nigeria and other hydrocarbon-rich countries develop the requisite capacity and capability to produce and utilize their fossil fuel resources.”.