BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and SLB, a global technology company has unveiled a software expected to address the pitfalls in the Oil and Gas industry.
Tagged: ‘NCDMB-SLB Technology Enhancement Program (N-STEP)’, it is a platform where students of higher institutions develop plugins for diverse oil field applications.
The program which is the first three products of the joint partnership between NCDMB, SLB and universities was unveiled on the sidelines of the 2023 Nigerian Association of Petroleum Geologists (NAPE) on Thursday in Lagos.
N-STEP showcased nine students representing three prestigious universities in Nigeria that developed software solutions that was targeted at resolving the challenges in the oil and gas sector.
The three universities are University of Lagos; Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun; and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi.
In his address, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote described N-STEP as an industry-education partnership under NCDMB’s Adopt a Faculty Initiative for STEM courses.
He noted that it was designed to bolster collaboration between the industry, universities and government through research and innovation, curriculum review, infrastructure, equipment, and knowledge exchange in Nigeria.
The N-STEP program was deployed through a phased and multidimensional approach, also highlighting machine learning, artificial intelligence and new innovations that could unlock potentials in the oil and gas sector.
Wabote informed that Nigeria spends an estimated $400 million annually on foreign software, which is a huge drain on the foreign exchange, adding that both organisations embraced N-STEP to reverse the trend.
He stated that the program also targeted undergraduates given that Nigerian youths posses digital skills to be solution providers and not job seekers.
The Group Managing Director of West Africa, SLB, Sops Ideriah said that the essence of developing N-STEP is to empower software developers to create and deploy plug-ins that would widen the utilisation of Exploration and Production (E&P) platforms.
This, he said was the reason that SLB collaborated with both the public sector and the academia to deliver a structured training program where selected students would gain the necessary knowledge and skills, as well as apply their expertise to develop innovative software solutions for the industry.
The GMD noted that the program also provided mentorship, internship opportunities and cutting-edge training tailored to industry needs by empowering future generations of innovators and leaders for the energy industry.
Ideriah pointed out that the joint ambition was to extend the scope of the program to cover a minimum of one university in each geographical region in Nigeria.
The GMD disclosed that the program would not only foster education, but would also detect and eventually tap into local talent.
“At the forefront of global technology, we are relentlessly looking for exceptional individuals with the potential to revolutionize the energy landscape.
“This program provides us with a strategic opportunity to identify and nurture future leaders within our organisation,” Ideriah added.
The N-STEP program was signed into effect in March 2023, commemorating SLB’s 70 years of operations in Nigeria.
It is a groundbreaking industry-education partnership aimed at bridging the gap between the academia and professional world, thereby fostering a pipeline of skilled talent and driving innovation for the energy industry.
BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja