19 September 2015, Sweetcrude, Abvuja – The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has announced a partnership with the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to link the oil and gas industry with the university curricula so that both sectors can improve their operations for the benefit of the economy.
The management of the two agencies agreed to this initiative tagged: Adopt A Faculty (AAFac) Programme, at a meeting in Abuja and set up a joint committee to develop a detailed action plan within four weeks.
The Executive Secretary,NCDMB, Mr. Denzil Kentebe, described the AAFac Programme as a capacity development initiative of the Board intended to use academic institutions as a catalyst for local content development.
He said the programme is aimed at facilitating partnerships between the academia and the oil and gas industry to align the university curriculum to industry technology and skill requirements to enable them train their students in courses and programmes relevant to the needs of the industry.
He listed other goals of the programme to include developing a culture for applied research, stimulating commercialisation of research findings from academic institutions, encouraging beneficiaries of oil and gas resources to invest in manpower and innovation and maintaining healthy pipeline of oil and gas talents.
Kentebe confirmed that the Board would use its regulatory powers and mandate to ensure that oil and gas operating and service companies comply with the AAFac programme.
On his own part, the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof Julius Okojie, praised the Board for initiating the programme and engaging the commission first rather than going to various institutions.
He said Nigeria has 142 universities with 610 academic programme, assuring the commitment of NUC to partner with NCDMB in the implementation of the AAFac.
The NUC boss decried the rejection of various students by operators in the industry due to perceived lack of relevant skills and expressed hope that the initiative will address the trend.
Okojie, who was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary 1, Prof. Chiedu Mafiana, said the first step in the AAFac programme, would be to review the curriculum, identify the gaps both in theory and practical and restructuring the curriculum to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry.
The deal identified the inclusion of effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms into the action plan as imperative to ensure the success of the programme.
They regretted that most operators of the oil and gas industry had carried out intensive research and development in their home countries over the years and expressed hope that the AAFac programme will reverse the trend in favour of universities.