ABUJA—THE Senate, weekend, said that cases where international oil companies deny Nigerians employment on the assumption that course contents in Nigerian universities were not rich enough will no longer be acceptable
Speaking when he led the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF in Abuja on an oversight function, Senator Dahiru Kuta, PDP, Niger East, expressed displeasure over discrimination against Nigerian graduates seeking employment by multinational oil companies.
Senator Kuta, who described the situation as “sad” urged PTDF management to ensure that Nigerians were fully trained in all aspects of the petroleum industry.
He said: “In March 2010, the President and Commander-in-Chief signed into law the Oil and Gas Content Development Act and we know very well the importance of this fund.
“You are supposed to train Nigerians in relevant fields so that gradually, we will begin to take over from the foreigners in the oil industry.
“It is actually disheartening that many of our graduates in the relevant fields such as Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Chemical and Petrochemical Engineering are not seen as worthy of employment by the international oil companies because they feel our course content is not rich enough for them to employ our graduates.
“I believe this is sad and this fund must be able to do a lot to ensure that we are fully trained in relevant fields, particularly as it affects the petroleum industry.
“In compliance with the 2010 Local Content Act, we want to ensure that in a very short time, Nigerians would be able to manage the affairs of the oil industry.”
Responding, PTDF Executive Secretary, Engr. Muttaqua Darma, explained that the agency may not grant scholarships for overseas Master’s Degree Programmes beginning from 2013, but that the agency had been able to train enough PhD holders’ currently in oil and gas related courses offered in its upgraded Nigerian universities to handle Masters programme requirements of Nigerians.