Dr Mayowa Afe, the President, Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), says the association will soon start construction of its training institute in Bayelsa State to develop capacity in the sector. Afe made this known in an interview with Energy Correspondents at the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) holds in Houston Texas, U.S.A. He said that Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa had allocated the association a land with the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to commence construction. He said that the governor gave the allocation order during his visit to the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas. The independent umbrella group of training service providers in the oil and gas industry was established by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act in 2010 with the purpose of building local human capacity.
According to the president, OGTAN made a request to the governor and he ordered immediately for the allocation of the land with Certificate of Occupancy. “His Excellency has urged the association to go back to the state and claimed the land and we already have a base in Bayelsa State now to build a training platform where we can train our people from Bayelsa,’’ he said.
Afe, however, highlighted the need for oil companies and government institutions to collaborate with the association to ramp up local human capacity development in the oil and gas industry. He said that the capital flight in the industry would be substantially reduced by utilizing local capacity. “We act as business group that interface with operators, international organizations and the Nigerian government. “We would like to call on all oil companies in Nigeria and government institutions to collaborate and work with OGTAN in planning and executing their training in line with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act. Afe said that the association works with critical stakeholders like the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), International Oil Companies (IOCs), among others to build capacity for members. He said that the association had been in discussion with the management of Bank of Industry (BoI) to attract funds for OGTAN members on capacity building that would expose their expertise. “Our members need to develop human capacity and building infrastructure that will expose them internationally through workshops and seminars. “OGTAN has received great support from NCDMB. We bring our members to the international workshop to expose them to international opportunities. “Most of the IOCs have been of great support of capacity building to their staff,’’ he said. The president said that Chevron, Total and AGIP managements had given OGTAN some of its staff to work with OGTAN on full time bases to develop a robust categorization scheme for workers. He said that this would increase the number of jobs that would be retained in the country and also reduce job description that would go out of Nigeria.” This will be achieved with the full participation of IOCs and NCDMB joint’s effort system to complete some jobs in-country.