Business Hilights
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Fresh confusion in Niger Delta over lack of jobs for PTDF graduates

A looming danger is brewing in the oil rich Niger Delta of Nigeria following the rising number of youths who are trained under the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), in various petroleum technologies, but nowhere to absorb them now.

Otherwise, there is acute lack of jobs in the nation’s oil and gas industry for many of the Nigerians trained by the fund and many of the trainees are formally repentant militants who accepted the amnesty scheme of previous administration. The steep fall in global oil prices since mid-2014 has hit oil companies hard, leading to significants cuts in capital spending and suspension of projects.

This was the revelation of the Executive Secretary of PTDF, Dr. Bello Gusau, on Tuesday at the ongoing Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Business Hilights recalls that PTDF was established by the Federal Government for the training of Nigerians to qualify as graduates, professionals, technicians and craftsmen in the field of engineering, geology, science and management in the petroleum sector.

However, part of the challenges leading to the growing lack of jobs in the formally most lucrative industry cannot be unconnected with drop in global oil prices had affected jobs in the industry.

The claims by PTDF boss is further situated by the revelation of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, during the opening ceremony on Monday that a total of $300bn in oil investments globally in three years had been lost due to the decline in oil price.

“For the first time in the oil sector, the decline in the oil price into loss of jobs,” he disclosed.

Dr. Gusau, represented by the General Manager, Nigeria Content and Industrial Collaboration at PTDF, Jacqueline Guyil, on a panel session noted that “Most of the people we have trained have not been absorbed into the industry because of the downturn in the industry”.

“We can’t say we will stop training people because of the downturn. But we will have to focus on doing most of the training in-country and on the areas that are needed by the industry.”