Job recovery depends on 2017 oil outlook, says expert

The ability of the country’s oil and gas sector to regain its outsourced jobs depends on the  global oil outlook next year, the President, Association of Outsourcing Professionals of Nigeria (AOPN), Dr Austin Nweze, has said.

The country lost a a lot of its outsourced  workers to the global oil market crisis, which started few years ago.

Speaking during a telephone interview, Nweze said many of the outsourced workers could get jobs, when there is increase in crude oil price.

He said once this happens, activities would peak and people would be employed to fill the vacant positions.

He said there was an increase in oil price from $33 per barrel to  $43 per barrel  recently, adding that the country would enjoy, if the increase  was sustained.

Nweze said: “What Nigeria needs to do to bring back the lost jobs, especially the outsourced ones, is to pray that  oil price increase, in tandem with the market forces next year. When this happens, both the local and International Oil Companies(IOCS) that have stopped production, would resume operation. Besides, the companies would revive their operation, by employing qualified personnel.’’

He explained that the industry relies on allied sectors for people that can add value to it, arguing that many of its workers would be picked from the various fields.

He said workers in the sector are sourced from within and outside the country to ensure that it gets the best.

He said the industry represents a larger section of the economy, arguing that all the sectors are found in oil and gas.

Nweze said the sector employs engineers, statisticians, accountants, geologists, marine engineers, architects, surveyors and other professionals for growth.

He said these professionals, most times, are outsourced because of their competences.

He said many of the workers are employed by the operating firms in  industry.

He observed that operators in both the upstream and downstream segment of the industry are losing jobs daily, adding that the sector would continue to either downsize or right size, in tandem with the economic realities.

Nweze said: “There is a general lure of activities in the industry. Aside  the attendant loss of business in the upstream sector that greeted the sales of assets by Chevron, Conoco phillips and other oil majors, the downstream sector is battling problems.There are virtually no new exploration activities in the industry. This is affecting the capacity of the sector to perform optimally.’’

He said multinational and local oil firms have lost a lot to crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and other untoward practices and are not ready to incur more losses, according to a research carried out by the association.

‘’From the research, oil and gas firms are ready to keep few, but not highly remunerated workers, such as security and maintenance officers who supervise and watch over their equipment. To oil and gas firms, their services are much needed in view of the unstable socio-economic environment in Nigeria. It is expensive to maintain expatriate workers. Their salaries are in foreign currencies, and it would affect the operational costs of the companies if such workers are kept for long. Now, the industry’s problems have rendered them redundant,’’ he added.


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