There is an urgent need for the federal government and other stakeholders of the oil and gas industry to intensify efforts in the promotion of quality petroleum education and development of competent manpower who would help Nigeria meet the challenges of the ongoing energy transition and expected boom in the gas sector.
This was the key recommendation by the executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote in the convocation lecture he delivered at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) Effurun, Delta State, titled “Defining the Value of Local Content in Petroleum Education.”
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, he said, it is imperative that Nigeria and other hydrocarbon-rich countries develop the requisite capacity and capability to produce and utilise their fossil fuel resources.
According to him, the ongoing debate and the deadlines being set in respect of energy transition underscored the need to develop home-grown skill sets to develop and manage the nation’s natural resources.
He stressed that “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.”
Commenting on the recent enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and the Decade of Gas initiative, Wabote pointed out that those developments would not only engender investments and utilisation 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.
He added that “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.”
The executive secretary charged educational institutions in Nigeria to 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 utilise 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, he canvassed.
This, he further explained, “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.”