#COVID-19: NCDMB counsels  Oil and Gas firms  on training

 #COVID-19: NCDMB counsels  Oil and Gas firms  on training
Chinazor Megbolu
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has counselled firms in charge of trainings in the  oil and gas industry in the country to reposition for greater impact.
This was disclosed in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by the Supervisor, Media and Publicity, NCDMB, Mr. Obinna Ezeobi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote.
Wabote in the statement advised the organisations to reposition their training modules so as to be able to overcome the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the crash of crude oil price.
Citing the webinar, organised by the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) with the theme: “Challenges, Opportunities and New Realities for O&G Trainers’’, he warned that the twin challenge of #COVID-19 pandemic and low price of crude oil might remain for a considerable time.
Wabote explained that oil and gas training would be negatively impacted because most face to face programmes would no longer hold and there would be delayed learning interventions, loss of businesses, revenue and jobs respectively.
He also noted that most oil and gas training would likely take place in virtual classrooms and would require virtual machines, simulators and dongles.
Wabote buttressed that such aforementioned training would demand high cost of set up but the operational cost would be lower over time and learning costs would become cheaper.
He, however, maintained that virtual learning models might lead to lower assimilation by the trainees and reduced profits for the organisations at the onset.
Moreover, Wabote outlined the critical requirements for oil and gas training which includes; expanded spaces for ongoing training, reduced number of students per classroom, increased cost of instructors, face masks, hand sanitisers, hand gloves, soaps and water.
He further mentioned that the negative impact of the prevailing circumstance on OGTAN members are stoppage and; cancellation of training programmes, delay in payments, reduction in the number of trainees and higher cost of administering programmes.
According to Wabote; “other effects may include, abandonment of physical classrooms in spite of huge investments already made, need for new capitalisation to acquire infrastructure, absence of high-speed internet and need for retraining of faculties”.
He also stressed that training opportunities would be in short supply because the oil sector was suffering from no new projects and crash in oil price, giving room to no funding for trainings, competitive rivalry and lack of certainty in training opportunities.
He, again noted that the new regime of virtual training would attract new and global competitors, some with advanced technologies.
Wabote urged local operators to explore partnerships, international accreditations, quality, cost and differentiation.
He charged OGTAN members to implement Covid-19 safety measures, redesign time table and the number of trainees per class, provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and redesign On-the-Job Trainings (OJT) as well as laboratory events.
“For medium-term plans, training firms are to redesign hands-on classes and leverage technology, move majority of theoretical training programmes online, retrain faculties for virtual training and provide infrastructure.
“Other strategies are to expand the market place, advertise online, get international students and include trainings required in the other sectors of the economy in their offerings,’’ Wabote said.
Moreover, he also advised that training firms should consider partnerships, consider jointly establishing a global virtual university with hubs around the world and mergers and acquisition of smaller players.
On NCDMB’s part, Wabote stated that the board would provide tablets or laptops in future virtual training and would consider a special funding for the acquisition of training technology.
“A special e-learning centre will be established in the Board’s Specialised Centre in Yenagoa, Bayelsa and a new trainees’ handbook and new human Capacity Development Guideline will be launched,” Wabote said.

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