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Nigeria puts oil and gas workers’ safety top of the agenda

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World Pipelines,

Leading figures from the Nigerian government and the country’s oil and gas sector have joined forces in Lagos at a one day seminar organised by the industry’s international skills organisation OPITO, as they look to make the country’s burgeoning energy sector a safer place to work.

More than 70 attendees have heard from speakers including Onyebuchi C Sibeudu, head of safety and environment at the Nigerian government’s Department of Petroleum Resources; Arc Mohammed Dewu from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund; Dr Musa Rabiu from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company; and Amadi Amadi, S & E technical manager, Shell Nigeria.

As part of the event, held at the city’s Eko Suites Hotel, oil and gas training providers looking to become OPITO-approved centres heard how they can train workers in Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) and International Minimum Industry Safety training (IMIST), two of the OPITO standards used by major international and national oil and gas companies in 45 countries globally.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and employs around 12.5% of the region’s labour pool. OPITO, whose safety training standards are recognised as the best in the world with more than 250 000 people taking them every year, was approached by the Nigerian government, prominent oil and gas producers as well as in-country training providers looking to improve the skills of local workers and develop the technical competence required to carry out their roles safely.

OPITO’s Group Chief Executive David Doig said: “There is an increasing awareness in Nigeria of the value in ensuring the competency of the offshore workforce and the benefits of improving the levels of safety for each individual.

“At the event, we discussed the importance of standardising training across the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, as well as hearing how employing a successful OPITO-approved competency management system has helped to maintain and improve workforce skills, drive efficiencies and deliver cost benefits across a business while making a positive contribution to the local economy.

“There are currently three of Nigeria’s training providers approved to deliver OPITO’s standards. Seven other companies signed up for the workshop showing that there is a real commitment for change in the country to adopt OPITO standards.

“This interest coupled with that of the government and international firms operating in the region sees Nigeria’s oil and gas industry ready for a new era in safety and competency.”

Edited from source by Stephanie Roker

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