Nigeria to increase Niger Delta workforce for oil industry

Nov 09, 2004 01:00 AM

The Federal Government of Nigeria is currently working out modalities that will increase the totality of the workforce of Niger Delta indigenes in the oil and gas industry to 67 %, while targeting a minimum of 25 % in the management category by end of 2006.
Dr Edmund Daukoru, the adviser to the President on petroleum and energy made the disclosure in Abuja, adding that this is one of the issues identified for immediate action by a standing committee on Niger Delta youths.
"Efforts, such as SPDCs SITP, will be made to build capacity of these employees for their responsibilities," he disclosed.

The standing committee on Niger Delta youths is one of the outcomes of a workshop on Niger Delta youths which was sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and coordinated by the Academic Associates PeaceWorks (AAPW) in Port Harcourt last April. The Committee is also developing a system of petroleum products distribution to ensure the supply of products at standard rates acrossthe Niger Delta, while the establishment of more petroleum products depot in the area is also being considered.
"The Petroleum Equalization Fund is already studying a proposal to establish more depots in the core delta and to facilitate the establishment of marine fuel stations that are accessible by both water and land. This is expected to markedly reduce the cost of living in the Niger Delta, as well as provide opportunities for employment and self-employment," the Adviser disclosed.

Dr Daukoru said a Business Investment Forum is also planned for February 2005, aimed at exposing Niger Delta residents to business opportunities as suppliers, receivers, transporters and financiers amongst other opportunities.
"Examples of successful businesses initiated by Niger Delta indigenes will be showcased, and these entrepreneurs will be available to mentor other interested parties," he further pointed out.

The President's Adviser explained that the Committee expects stakeholders in the Niger Delta such asthe state governments, oil and gas exploration and production companies, and the NDDC to buy into the programme for a successful implementation.
"We believe that when the above activities are fully initiated, they will go a long way in improving the standard of living of people in the Niger Delta and increase the participation of people from the region in the oil and gas industry."

The Standing Committee is chaired by Dr Daukoru and its membership includes Mr Funsho Kupolokun, the group managing director of NNPC; the managing directors of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), ChevronTexaco, NAOC; and four Niger Delta youth leaders, with AAPW as the facilitating organization.
After the workshop in Port Harcourt, a subcommittee worked out a Road Map, which determines ways of addressing major concerns of youths in the Niger Delta and the work of this sub-committee gave birth to a road map.

Also speaking Dr (Mrs) Judith Asuni, the director of AAPW disclosed that the government has commenced the establishment of community governance committees in the Niger Delta. She pointed out that this was in reaction to one of the presentations made by Mr Oronto Douglas at the youth workshop, adding that Okrika community has Professor Tekena Tamuno as chairman.
Recently also, the NDDC commenced widespread consultation with stakeholders in the Niger Delta over implementation of a road map for development of the entire region and it is expected that it will be ready for presentation to President Olusegun Obasanjo by the end of the year.

Source: Vanguard Media
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