Energy Summit: Stakeholders task PENGASSAN on innovation, skills

Oil and gas experts have urged the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), to embrace innovation, business development, technology adoption, and skill acquisition to benefit from the shift to a cleaner energy regime.

The experts spoke yesterday 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.”

The Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Dr Bala Wunti, underscored the need for PENGASSAN members to remain relevant for the future challenges amid energy transition.

Wunti, who spoke on: “Positioning the Nigerian Energy Industry and Its Workforce for the Future,” challenged the Association to improve their skills, problem-solving techniques, the media and IT literacy, and business developments among others.

He said: “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 advised the Association to take personal responsibility for learning and development.

Everyone wants energy, nobody wants emissions but there is no way we can achieve that level of stability of energy security without the use of fossil fuel.

Energy security, transition

Speaking on the need to create a balance between energy security and energy transition, Wunti noted that Nigeria plans to achieve energy sufficiency by 2026, and attain net-zero emissions by 2060.

“Everyone wants energy, nobody wants emissions but there is no way we can achieve that level of stability of energy security without the use of fossil fuel,” he said.

He decried that fossil fuel is being discriminated against and starved of finance while the Ukraine–Russian war has triggered many fall-backs in the sector including the reintroduction of the business of dirty coal.

Wunti also noted that larger economies are prioritising energy transition over climate change concerns, adding that to meet market demand, there is a need to attract investments and legislation to enable energy transition, strike a balance, and ensure attainment without compromising energy security.

The Executive General Manager, Human Resources, Total Energies, Mrs Evi Ifekwe, said about 78 million jobs will be created through energy transition.

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

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

He said PTDF will partner with stakeholders in the tertiary institutions to review the curriculum in the schools to fit into the professional and training needs.

Earlier, PENGASSAN National President, Festus Osifo, in his opening remark, said the call for action regarding energy transition has made several oil and gas companies migrate to energy companies to suit current realities, and hence channelled their investments to renewable energy projects.

Osifo said most of these investments have gone into research and development of alternative energy sources, including solar, hydrogen, hydro biomass, biofuels and wind.

He said that against this background, PENGASSAN organised the summit, to explore how the transition can best be navigated and how it will 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 training needed, collaborations required with the government in achieving a 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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