The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board says it has recorded significant decrease in the number of expatriates working in oil and gas industries in the country.
The Board, which is one of the agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, attributed the trend to the adoption of effective monitoring and regulation mechanisms since its creation in 2010.
Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Board, made the disclosure at a one-day training exercise and quiz competition for selected science students of secondary schools in the north on Monday in Yola, Adamawa State.
Wabote, who was represented by Maurice Iwhiwhu, Manager, Capacity Building of the Board, stressed that the development followed intensive monitoring and regulations by the Board in oil and gas industries in the country.
He said: “If you carry out an inventory, the number of expatriates working in oil and gas industries have drastically reduced and replaced by Nigerians.
“The Board is now collaborating with the Ministry of Interior to ensure that if they are giving the expatriates application to work in oil and gas industries, it should equally seek approval of the board before offering.
“Because the Board has the mandate to check and find out the number of expatriates working and those that are coming to work in the country’s oil sectors before any approval.”
Wabote explained that the objective of the quiz competition was to stimulate the interest for young Nigerians to participate in oil and gas industries and other allied sectors.
He said three states were selected in the north where science students of secondary schools would be trained and encouraged to participate in the sector in near future.
The secretary noted that one of the core objectives of the catch them young from the secondary school level was to address human capacity gap in the future industry.
He added: “With the recent exploration of oil and gas in Chad Basin (Borno and Bauchi) Nigeria is likely becoming a hub of oil and gas industries in the world.
“And for the Board to ensure that we do not have human capacity gap in the near future it is to catch-them-young right from secondary schools across the country.”
Also speaking, Yohanna Audu, Director, Science and Technology, Adamawa State Ministry of Education, lauded the Federal Government for organising the event.
Audu said the event was an eye opener and a challenge to the state government, adding that the exercise has awaken the consciousness of the government to give emphasis on science education and teachers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that about 180 science students drawn from 30 senior secondary schools in Adamawa State participated in the competition.
Meanwhile, the Board has announced plans to hold similar training exercise and quiz competition for students in Bauchi and Gombe States in the next coming weeks.