This Day (Lagos)

13 February 2013

Nigeria: PETAN Demands Penal Measures Against Skills Drain

The Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) has advocated stiff penal measures against multinational oil service firms that poach workers trained by indigenous companies, saying such competition strategies are unhealthy and injurious to national economic development.

PETAN said in its latest bulletin that the activities of the foreign firms were deliberate ploys to work against the objectives of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010.

The group described the situation as "a ploy whereby the multinationals and foreign companies in the oil and gas sector deliberately lie in wait until the local firms have trained and improved on their staff before they fraudulently take them away and transfer them to work for them outside the shores of the country."

"There is an obvious threat to erode the laudable objectives of the NOGICD Act 2010 and we humbly urge the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to stand firm and vehemently oppose this anti-progressive stratagem of the multinationals in the Oil and Gas sector. We therefore suggest that NCDMB should put a stringent policy to discourage any unguarded staff poaching, and also clearly define the penal consequences of defaulters.

"This policy or measure should have the force of law and should be enforceable in court so as to deter these unpatriotic multinationals from this new ruse of enticing and luring our trained staff away from Nigeria employ," PETAN said.

In a related development, the policy drive to groom local competence in oilfield services has started delivering the desired dividends as operators in the oil and gas industry have endorsed Weafri Oilwell Services Limited for high quality oilfield services.

The company was recently celebrated for delivering technically tasking oilfield services that are crucial to exploration, development and production.

Speaking during an award ceremony organised in Lagos by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr. Cletus Onyekwere, stated that his company would continue to drive excellent job delivery by consistently building skills in the industry through establishment of training schools.

Onyekwere noted that a similar award by Addax Petroleum was a testimony of positive impact of clients that patronised the company by giving it opportunity to demonstrate capacity for quality service delivery.

"We sincerely wish to confess that it was very rough at the beginning of the journey but our determination and slogan that say 'it is possible, we can do it' kept us going and sustained us," he said.

Indigenous companies in the oil service sector face unhealthy competition from multinational oil firms that poach their workers, making it difficult for local firms to compete for jobs that require highly trained professionals.

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