By Tosin Oke
The President, Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), Dr . Afe Mayowa has said overseas training in the oil and gas industry is a waste of time, stressing the companies needed to focus on how to boost local contents.
Mayowa who said this yesterday in Lagos at the July session of OGTAN Business Forum said the association is not happy when oil companies are forced by oil operators to train abroad when capacities training can be obtained locally in the country.
Speaking at the event that was sponsored by Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd, and supported by Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), he noted that companies’ attending overseas training is like a waste of money.
In a statement, he said, “We can have the training anywhere in the country like Akwa Ibom and any other states in a very beautiful and conducive environment.
“All these trainings have positive multiplier effect in the country with which they train their subjects due to the fact that all the overseas trainings are at huge cost and Nigerians must change their attitude towards that, as most of these trainings can be done in the country.
“A lot of companies are complaining that some institution are imposing on them to sponsor their staff abroad. We hear this every time and some of these things is not a kind of training to go for. Just because we want to have an overseas training, you take everyone to Ghana. How many times have Ghanaian brought their trainings to Nigeria? And by the time you are in Ghana, you get drivers, and the likes, the multiplier effect on the economy of Ghana is much. The food you eat, and all other things you do go into the economy of the country. That is kind of thing that OGTAN is very much against.
“There are some professors that were sponsored abroad to acquire Ph.D. and eventually got lost there. Some of them get employment in exxon mobil, anywhere and stay abroad. We must have a Nigerian mentality to come back to this country and develop this country. Nigerians should have that attitude as this country is our own. As a trainer, I don’t want to do business at the detriment of my country taking everybody who are Nigerians and instructor to run a course that can easily be run here.
“But for you to go and acquire good knowledge, technological breakthrough, we are fully in support of that’’ he added.
The Director Planning Research and Statistics of the Board, Patrick Obah, who was representing the chairman NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, also made a remark that there are lots of trainings currently taking place in Nigeria but one can ’t rule out the fact that foreign companies still patronize overseas trainings.
He however said if Nigerians look inwards in the area of trainings in the industry, they could have more of Nigerian companies to train people, something like train the trainer programs.
Among the beneficiaries of Total Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Education Initiative beneficiaries, Head , Department of Computer Science , Federal University Lokoja, Prof . Francisca Oladipo and Engr John Okoroafor.
She stated that apart from state of infrastructures the education system in the country, the mode of delivery is also faulty, hence the production of graduates who are not employable.