24 December 2013, Abuja – The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) is to collaborate with Botswana University of Science and Technology (BUST) in developing skills for the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The Executive Secretary of the Fund, Dr. Oluwole Oluleye, who disclosed this while receiving the management of the University led by its Vice Chancellor, Professor Hilary Inyang, on a courtesy visit, explained that the move was to promote collaboration with sister African institutions, which have the requisite capacity to develop the manpower needs of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Expressing pleasure at the level of their commitment expertise and innovations to promote the knowledge of science and technology in Africa, Oluleye said the PTDF will be pleased to start and drive the process of collaboration with them in a bid to develop skills that will move the entire African economy and promote indigenous African participation in the oil and gas industry.
“The key thing is to start the process and then we can continually build on that,” he stated. “This is quite innovative and I am quite impressed. I see some areas of collaboration and I believe with an African sister institution coming to us, I think we would see how we can give you some preference and see how we will be able to send some students to you and continue to do what is necessary to move the process forward.”
The PTDF boss noted the agency has been involved in many programmes and activities aimed at developing the manpower needs of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and will do anything at its disposal to collaborate with the Botswana-based University especially in areas of vocational and technical skills development as well as the Fund’s University lecturers Skills Enhancement Program (ULSEP) and indeed in all forms of entrepreneurship skills development initiatives.
He pointed that, the present management of PTDF is poised not only to train and enhance the capacities of people to participate in the oil and gas industry but moving a step further to get them employed and positioned to contribute their quota to the overall national economy, pointing that, the Fund has created effective linkage between its recently graduated 100 youth who underwent vocational training in Cotonou, Benin Republic with some Banks in order to support them develop their acquired skills so that they can be self sufficient enough to contribute to the national economy.
According to Oluleye, Nigeria can learn from Botswana’s initiative to ensure economic diversification by attempting to move from a natural resource dependent economy to one driven by high level skills which the BIUST initiative is poised to support through the assemblage of experts in various fields of science and technology to drive the process forward.
Earlier in his remark, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Hilary Inyang, said the team was in the Executive Secretary’s office to introduce their institute to him and inform him about areas where the institute can assist in training competent skilled manpower that will take over the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
– This Day