Emerald Institute moves to boost manpower development in oil sector
The urgent need for Nigeria to bridge the manpower development gap in the oil and gas industry is the factor that influenced the academic programmes of the Emerald Energy Institute (EEI), its Director, Prof Wumi Iledare has said.
Speaking at an induction of the 4th batch comprising 20 M.Sc. students and 3rd batch of 10 Ph.D. scholars in Port Harcourt office of the Institute, Prof Illedare said the Institute would in 2017 and beyond further make policy and economics contributions to the oil and gas sector.
He added: “What we are trying to do is not to develop Engineers but develop soft skills. Here we deal with management, policy and economic training which is to add to the value chain. Every investor wants value to be added.”
Prof Iledare highlighted that economics as a field of study adds value to the industry and it is imperative to train industry experts that understand the way choices are made to maximize value while not neglecting the constraints along the way.
“So, majority of our graduates are Engineers that are working in the oil and gas and power sectors. We give them additional tools and skills that help them to better explain the concept of value creation from investment.
“To me, Nigeria is not limited when it comes to engineering capacity. We have good Engineers that have worked all over the world with distinction. What we then need are people who can connect ideas to get to the expected areas and that are what we try to do Emerald Energy Institute (EEI),” he explained.
The Chirota and Emmanuel Egbogah distinguished Professor said most Nigerians still look at capacity building efforts in Nigeria as a means of making money without contributing to knowledge.
He added: “Even nomination of people for training is more or less as if favour is rendered and that training is not a necessity. That is a wrong perception. Nigerians must move away from ‘what is it for me’ syndrome and embrace learning and cultivating knowledge. Capacity building is not about today; it is about the connector with tomorrow.”
He hinted that the Institute is in discussion with the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Petroleum Equalization Fund and TETFund and other stakeholders in the oil and gas sector of the country to exploring areas of collaboration for the training of manpower for the oil and gas sector.
He decried the rush to Europe and other developed countries of the world for training while little attention is paid to the capacity of training institutes in Nigeria to deliver quality education.
His words: “Everybody wants to run abroad for training. Here at EEL, we can train five students with the same amount of money that is used to train one student abroad and those five will get quality education. I challenge critical stakeholders to take up the challenge of sending their trainees here and see the quality we have the capacity to deliver.”