Pipeline vandalism has increased in the country since February, reducing crude oil production to less than one million barrels per day.
A new militant group – the Niger Delta Avengers, which had already destroyed facilities belonging to international oil companies, has vowed to reduce the country’s production to zero.
Series of efforts by the Federal Government to engage in a dialogue, expected to stop the destruction of oil facilities, have failed so far.
Stakeholders who gathered at the Learning Managers of Oil and Gas and Allied Companies workshop organised by the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) in
Abuja, believed that to effectively curtain losses due to pipeline vandalism, Nigeria must overcome the toxic and explosive relationship between the government, corporate establishment and their host communities.
The workshop identified the PTI as a veritable agency for mediation between government, corporate bodies and host communities to achieve lasting industrial and host community harmony thereby curbing incessant attacks on pipelines.
The stakeholders urged the government to hasten the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to attract the requisite foreign direct investment into the oil and gas industry .
They also emphasised the need to develop the steel industry in order to establish the basic steel infrastructure for easy access to steel products and its auxiliary facilities for effective pipeline management.
They observed that corruption has always been a major factor hindering effective growth of the oil and gas industry and commended government in its effort to eliminate the scourge of corruption in the country.
The workshop urged government to utilise the facilities of PTI as the major training institute in the country backed by an act of the federal government for finger printing of the products of the oil and gas industry in its struggle against corruption and sharp practices.
It stated: “There is need for the government to enact relevant legislations and sustainable enforcement structure in ensuring the protection of the nation’s pipelines.
“There is also need for the Federal Government to engage the PTI through the agency of its petroleum analysis laboratory in partnership with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in ensuring that petroleum products imported into the country meet acceptable standards in terms of safety, quality and customer expectations”.
It described the petroleum institute as the only unique training institute that addresses the training solution to the contemporary training requirement in the oil and the gas industry.
Speaking at the, the Vice Principal, Mrs. Emily Arhagba stated that the workshop was very significant to the sustainability of training in oil and gas sector with emphasis on the development of the next generation of leaders who constitute the middle level managers in the industry.
According to her, any genuine discussion on energy must resolve around a seamless transfer of new and emergent skills to this critical group on whom the future of the industry rests.
She disclosed that the institute has an enviable track record in the development of competent technical human capital for the nation’s oil industry to tool and retool oil personnel to effectively handle these challenges.
Arhagba said that the institute has turned out over 1070 Technologists and Technicians.
She stressed on the need for the oil and gas businesses to leverage knowledge management processes evolving in gas pipeline operations.
Acting Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Ahmed Galadima Aminu, said that with an estimated proven gas reserves of 182 Trillion Cubic Feet, the sector if properly exploited is capable of enhancing the economic growth potential of the nation, particularly if the gas that is being flared is channel to complement domestic energy demand.
Aminu stated: “We must therefore continue to complement government effort to achieve a viable, sustainable and efficient oil and gas sector by experimenting on new innovative ways that will ensure we exploit our enormous gas potential for national growth. “