Lagos — Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Odein Ajumogobia, have emphasised the need for safety training as a major determinant of productivity in the nation's economy.
They also believe that manpower loss could be reduced if efficient safety training measures were put in place in susceptible sector of the economy such as the oil and gas and maritime sectors.
Both Daniel and Ajumogobia spoke at the inauguration of an International Safety Training Centre for the offshore and maritime industry in Ipara -Remo, Ogun State.
The training centre, according to the Press Officer to the Governor, Kehinde Onasanya, was established by a private company, Falc Prime Atlantic Limited, to provide onshore and offshore safety training for the oil and gas, maritime, industrial as well as the public sectors within and outside Nigeria.
At the programme attended by major stakeholders in the oil and gas sector of the economy, Daniel emphasised the importance of training as a fundamental determinant of productivity.
"Over the years, our system has concentrated much on certification to make people get employment, while on the job training continues to suffer. Little wonder most people cannot play their roles effectively in the nation's building," he said.
The Governor said the initiative behind the project tallied with the commitment of his administration to the wholesome development of all sectors of the state's economy, pointing out that "we have the Dahomey basin in Ipokia Local Government; we have the Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas project in Ogun Waterside and we also seek partnership with Falc Prime Atlantic to train the students of our Gateway Industrial and Petro-chemical institute in offshore welding."
Ajumogobia said the training school would go a long way in saving cost of training people in the maritime, as well as oil and gas industry abroad as well as reduce man hour loss due to industrial accidents.
He said he has directed the Department of Petroleum Resources to ensure that all companies in the oil and gas industry patronise the centre, saying "it has become imperative to increase the capacity of the workforce by benchmarking their safety against the global standard."
Ajumogobia, who thanked the Governor for facilitating the construction of the centre in the state, pointed out that "you have indeed done great work by turning a sleeping state into a vibrant industrial haven as events show that your state is an environment in which investment can thrive."
Managing Director of Falc Prime Atlantic, Ayo Otuyalo, thanked Daniel for "granting express permission to commence the project", saying "it shows your love and passion for the state, which you have created as an investment destination of choice."
Otuyalo said the company's motivation was to "make organisations and the employees more aware of risks, to recognise these risks and to learn to cope with them to ensure a safer and more efficient working environment, adding that the centre was the first of its kind in the country with students trainees from Nigeria, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritania and other parts of Africa."