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Thursday, August 27, 2020


The 6th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has ended in Abuja, with a call on oil and gas industry workers to reinvent themselves for the demands of a post COVID - 19 world.

The charge was delivered August 27, 2020 at the closing ceremony of a two-day PENGASSAN Delegates Conference by the Conference Lead Speaker and immediate past Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria, Barr. Udom Inoyo.

Speaking on "The Future of Work , Post COVID - 19 Pandemic and Energy Transition", Barr. Inoyo stated that since the  ubiquitous COVID - 19 pandemic has significantly altered the workings of the oil and gas industry business in the world and particularly in Nigeria, adaptability must be embraced as the  most essential skill in the industry.

Inoyo stated that oil  industry operators would no longer require employees who carry out tasks  but those who provide solutions to peculiar problems and urged the workers to hone their skills in order to keep themselves and the industry afloat. He cited Alvin Toffler's submission that "the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn" and tasked PENGASSAN to play a leading role in preparing its members for the new work needs occasioned by a post COVID - 19 era.

The Oil and Gas Industry Chieftain gave insights to the audience on global adjustments in energy consumption and explained how the energy transition would continue to affect the industry.

"It is thrilling that PENGASSAN is paying close attention to the discourse on Energy Transition. That shows professionalism. While we appreciate the growth in the energy sector, beginning from the industrial revolution, the demand and growth for fossil fuel as civilization peaked, we cannot ignore the fact that the concerns hitherto thrown up with regards to climate change had started a journey of reshaping the industry. And this will not stop, notwithstanding the position taken even by some notable world leaders", he observed. According to Mr Inoyo "Energy transition is the plan to zero out the dependency on fossil fuel (oil and natural gas) thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions with impact on climate change, and transitioning into renewable energy such as wind power, solar power, hydropower, tidal power, geothermal energy, ambient heat captured by heat pumps; biofuels and renewable part of waste which are environmentally friendly and biodegradable." He noted that  "The European Union has an objective to be the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050 in a deal, Europen Green Deal and that  If things proceeded as planned, hundreds of billions of oil and trillion cubic feet of gas investments will be left in the ground as 'stranded assets' due to that transition. "Many billion dollar projects will be re-evaluated and many will no longer be viable." He warned. 

Mr Inoyo said that  "the Nigerian Government has enacted a Feed-in Tariff Policy to support the implementation of Renewable Energy to the overall energy mix in the country adding that the market was  huge in Nigeria, and the country was blessed in abundance with renewable energy sources. "In the  North, we have Sun and wind; in the South, we have hydro and wind; and there may be possibilities of geothermal sources in the middlebelt of Jos". He observed.

After taking out time to dissect the global energy transition and Nigeria's place in the transition, Mr Inoyo veered the hydrocarbon workers into what to expect and how to navigate through in a post COVID 19 new world.

 "As of the end of April 2020, crude oil prices had fallen more than 70% in just two months (the worst decline since after World War II), amidst cratering demand and stubbornly elevated supply. With the world practically shutdown, economic activities halted, everyone simply focused on survival, stretching across continents."

 Suspecting that the oil workers would like to know if the current disruptions would lead to 'excess manpower' thereby triggering bouts of redundancy and separation, the retired ExxonMobil's Vice Chairman charged the employees to carefully consider and responsibly execute their tasks, even as they progressively adapt to the job needs of the new era. 

Barr. Udom Inoyo ended his spell-binding paper with some posers.

"What is keeping business leaders awake? What is needed most at this time is understanding and support from bodies like PENGASSAN, given  that your members must reinvent and hone other skills to ensure they can fit into the new ways business will operate going forward.

"What skills will you require in your organization? How prepared are your members to adjust to the current realities? What training opportunities are you canvassing for them? How prepared are you for the aggressive role of technology in today's market? How can the Union reinvent itself?

Attendance at the closing event of the 6th Triennial National Conference of PENGASSAN included the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Nigeria's Minister for Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; the Group Managing Director of of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari; the leadership and delegates from various branches of PENGASSAN ,  as well as several stakeholders in Nigeria's oil and gas industry.

The conference held in compliance with COVID 19 safety protocol.

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