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Energy Summit: Stakeholders task PENGASSAN on innovation, skills

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Oil and gas experts have urged the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to imbibe technology and skills acquisition, innovation and business development to take advantage of energy transition.

The experts spoke on Monday in Abuja at the maiden edition of the Annual PENGASSAN Energy and Labour Summit 2022, tagged ‘’Energy Transition and its Effect on Workforce in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector.”

Dr Bala Wunti, the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), underscored the need for PENGASSAN’s workforce to remain relevant for the challenged future, in the light of energy transition.

Wunti spoke as the Lead Panelist on “Positioning the Nigerian Energy Industry and Its Workforce for the Future.”

Wunti challenged the association to strive to acquire more leadership skills, media and IT literacy, problem solving techniques and business developments among others.

“The future starts today, and because it starts today, you need to secure your place, recreate yourselves and understand what tomorrow holds for us.

“With combination of Innovation, technology, expertise and trust, you have secured your position into the global energy future leaders,” he said.

He advised the association to take personal responsibility to learning and development.

Speaking on the need to create a balance between energy security and energy transition, he said Nigeria had already planned to achieve energy sufficiency by 2026 and attain net-zero emission by 2060.

According to him, everyone wants energy, nobody wants emission but there is no way we can achieve that level of stability of energy security without the use of fossil fuel.

He decried the fact that fossil fuel was being discriminated upon and lacked finance while Ukraine-Russian war had triggered many things in the sector including the reintroduction of business of dirty coal.

Wunti said that larger economies were prioritising energy transition ahead of climate change concerns.

He said in order to meet the market demand we possibly need to attract investments and legislations that could enable energy transition, create balance and ensure attainment without compromising energy security.

Mrs Evi Ifekwe, the Executive General Manager, Human Resources, Total Energies, said about 78 million jobs would be created in view of energy transition.

Ifekwe said there was a need for PENGASSAN workforce to acquire technological and entrepreneur skills, adopt research and new ways of learning on future energy to be well positioned.

Also speaking, Mr Jide Adebulehin, the General Manager, Strategy Planning and Documentation, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), said it was making efforts to incorporate more training, retraining and courses in curriculum of tertiary institutions in line with energy transition.

He said it would partner with stakeholders in the tertiary institutions to redo the curriculum in the schools to fit into the professions and trainings needed.
Earlier, PENGASSAN National President, Mr Festus Osifo, in an opening remark, said the call for action in view of energy transition had made several oil and gas companies to migrate to energy companies to suit current realities hence moved their investments to renewable energy related projects.

Osifo said most of these investments had gone to the area of research and developments of solar energy, hydrogen, hydro biomass, biofuels and wind energy among others.

He said it was on this background that it organised the summit which aimed at brainstorming on how the transition would be best sailed and how it could affect the workforce.

“We hope that the summit will reveal what the workforce in the oil and gas industry will do to remain relevant tomorrow, the new skills and trainings needed, collaborations required with government in achieving smooth transition.

“The summit will still incorporate expert discussions on crude oil theft and contract staffing in the industry and how women can optimally impact the industry to the benefit of all, ‘’ he said. (NAN)

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