Improving the skillsets for talents in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas sector

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    The Oil and Gas sector is one of the major revenue drivers for the Nigerian economy with growing influence on other sectors. According to an audit report recently released by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives, NEITI, Nigeria earned $34.22 billion from Oil and Gas in 2019 showing a 4.88% increase from its previous year. Despite the huge earnings, the sector faces a major challenge in skill gap in both its upstream and downstream sectors.

    The Oil and Gas sector is one of the major revenue drivers for the Nigerian economy with growing influence on other sectors. According to an audit report recently released by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives, NEITI, Nigeria earned $34.22 billion from Oil and Gas in 2019 showing a 4.88% increase from its previous year. Despite the huge earnings, the sector faces a major challenge in skill gap in both its upstream and downstream sectors.

    To close this gap, the Federal Government established the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, in 1973 to train Nigerian graduates, professionals, and technicians for employability in the sector. The vision of the PTDF is to enhance the development of indigenous manpower and technology transfer acquisition and make Nigeria a human resource center for West Africa. This effort by the Federal Government was the first to institutionalise the policy of local manpower in Oil and Gas industry. It was part of a long-term plan towards ensuring that local institutions are encouraged in training and preparing Nigerians to be competent, capable, and skilled for the Industry.

     

    While efforts are ongoing to induct more skilled Nigerians into the sector, there are some challenges with getting the local workforce to be more effective. Some of these include the preference of expatriate personnel by some Oil Companies irrespective of their capabilities to handle the work. There is also the view that Nigerian graduates need more trainings after their formal education to be fully prepared for the industry. Although the sector has produced outstanding individuals at the core of its success story, entrants into its workforce require more training and skilled manpower to meet the demands and dynamics of the evolving sector. With public and private partnerships creating expansion capacities, human capital continues to be a focal point in driving the sector for national development.

     

    As the dynamics continue to evolve with the need for improvement in the Oil and Gas sector, across the world, introduction of mechanisms such as artificial intelligence, human engagement and interface are still required. Also, there is the need for research intervention to fully understand the kind of innovations required for individuals in their regions of operation and the impact on human capital. Hence, the need for private institutions to align with government policies to improve local manpower in the sector.

     

    In view of this, some organizations are ensuring effective mechanisms to develop indigenous talents in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry. These efforts will ensure quality manpower and sustenance culture.

    To facilitate the advancement of this industry for continuous growth and imbibe a culture that rewards talent and merit in the downstream sector, Enyo Retail and Supply Limited created the Enyo Station Personnel Understudy Programme, SPUP,. This initiative was designed to identify the most qualified candidates across the country for roles in its service stations and offices across Nigeria. SPUP is designed to create the next generation of leaders in the downstream oil and gas sector. It is an opportunity for recent graduates to accelerate their careers and work closely with leadership, learning from established mentors and develop a network of outstanding colleagues.

     

    The programme target graduates in more than 10 states and prepares selected candidates for the industry through training and knowledge acquisition towards being outlet managers and admin officers in retail stations. SPUP runs under Enyo’s Learning and Development Academy, LeaDA, and allows candidates to participate in an 8-12 weeks learning process introducing them to comprehensive training modules and hands-on learning on how operations work. This process covers a wide range of fields including Product quality and quality assurance, station personnel management, stakeholder management, and reporting. Others are environmental health, safety and security management, station technology management, customer service, cash management procedures, complementary offerings and escalation procedures.

     

    SPUP comprises an orientation and induction through a physical and online module, field Deployment, weekly assessment Via LeaDA as well as a confirmation assessment aimed at making its beneficiaries globally competitive.

     

    ‘‘The programme was pivotal to my deep understanding of the industry. The exposure across various segments of the business both in the classroom and on-the-job training are valuable treasures. I continue to put the knowledge acquired to use and I keep seeing the impact in my interface with colleagues, customers, and other industry stakeholders.’’ Said Joseph Onni, a beneficiary of SPUP’’

    With a practical approach and collaboration between the government, educational platforms and private stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, there will be more opportunities for graduates and a structured approach to sustenance. The SPUP is one of the programmes driving this approach.

     

    Enyo Retail and Supply Limited is a technology-driven company focused on integrating first-level customer service experience with fuels retailing and renewable energy products in Africa. The company has more than 90 retail outlets across 19 states in Nigeria serving more than 100,000 people daily.

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