Nigeria: Stakeholders Advocate Youth Empowerment to Tackle Oil Theft
Stakeholders in both the downstream and upstream sectors of the oil and gas industry have canvassed for the development of sustainable entrepreneurship among the Nigerian youths as a panacea to the current wave of oil theft and pipeline vandalism ravaging the country.
According to these experts, youths should be exposed to the investment and professional opportunities available in the oil and gas industry from an entrepreneurial and professional perspective. This was the high point of the presentations at the First Indigenous Youth Entrepreneurs in Oil and Gas Retreat, a network event in Nigeria dedicated solely for creating opportunities for the youths in the industry, which was held recently in Lagos.
Speaking at the event, the Coordinator of the Youth in Oil and Gas Retreat (YOG), Mrs. Raqeebah Oloko-Adedimeji, said the forum was also meant for the dissemination of current business information and opportunities available in the industry. She said the organisation also served as a motivational platform for the Nigerian youths to seek existing opportunities in the industry, without the use of force or aggression.
“This year’s theme, “Opportunities for Indigenous Youth Entrepreneurs in the Oil Sector,” seems appropriate with the current challenges of oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the country,” she said. In his presentation, the Managing Director of Oil Data and Chairman of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Mr. Emeka Ene, said there were abundant opportunities in the country’s oil and gas industry.
He said a lot of investment was needed to boost the gas sector and create opportunities for the youths as the sector was seriously underdeveloped. Quoting statistics, Ene said 43 per cent of the country’s gas was meant for export, while six per cent and 13 per cent were meant for fuel gas and domestic use, respectively. Ene noted two per cent of the country’s gas was used as liquefied natural gas (LPG), while 33per cent was re-injected into oil wells.
The Public Relations Manager of Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Limited, Mr. Lawrence Cobham, said there were abundant opportunities for youth participation in upstream activities, comprising exploration, production and other joint venture activities. Cobham identified Greenfield refinery initiative, gas master plan, renewable energy, gas -to-power and engineering activities as some midstream activities that required youth involvement. The Managing Director of AOS Orwell, Mr. Femi Omotayo, charged the youths to be engaged constructively. “It is very bad for someone to wake up in the morning and find nowhere to go.
You have to think of what you can do best,” he said. Acting Director in charge of Asset Management at Addax Petroleum, Mr. Chike Nwosu, noted Nigeria had earned about $800billion in oil revenue since oil was discovered in 1956.