In an unprecedented move, Schlumberger Technologies of France, at the weekend, offered automatic employment to most of the 29 delegates of the Presidential Amnesty Programme that successfully completed a 12-month specialised course in Oil Drilling at the base of the company in Melun, France.
At the formal graduation event of the 29 Niger Delta youths in France on Saturday, the Business Manager for Europe and Africa of Schlumberger/NEXT, Mr. Pierre Bihan, said the firm decided to retain the Nigerian youths in their employ following their brilliant showing in all the courses they undertook over the one-year period their training lasted.
“It is true that we have been training students from several countries of the world but I must confess that these Nigerian students are exceptional. Their level of discipline is very high. Their ability to cope under immense pressure is second to none and, more important, their good showing in both theory and practice is irresistible. Schlumberger has decided to employ most of them for their facilities in Nigeria.
“They have gone through the best training possible in drilling engineering and it is our hope that they will now put to practical use what they have been taught in oil drilling,” Mr. Bihan said, adding that all the external assessors of the delegates scored them very high.
At the event, a visibly elated Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, lauded the trainees for being true ambassadors of Nigeria by excelling beyond the expectation of even their trainers.
“I am the happiest man on earth today. Our efforts have been bountifully rewarded. I am grateful to God Almighty that 29 of them have not just graduated in oil and gas drilling but they have been acclaimed as the best set of trainees this globally revered Schlumberger facility in Melun, France, has produced. On behalf of our President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who made this training possible, I want to thank the trainees for making us proud,” the Special Adviser said.
Kuku praised Schlumberger for offering to employ most of the graduates.
“This is what we call practical support. Schlumberger has shown today that it is a true friend of Nigeria. Schlumberger has also shown that reward abound at all times for excellence. Our delegates came here and excelled and you have not shied away from saying that they are the best you have trained. You went further to offer to employ most of them. Nigeria is grateful to you. We shall continue to collaborate with Schlumberger and NEXT,” Kuku enthused at the well-attended graduation event.
The Special Adviser disclosed at the event that his office and Schlumberger will collaborate later this month to organise a job fair for the delegates in Nigeria where all the oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria would be offered the opportunity of snapping up the remainder of the graduates.
“With the first class training you have received, you have become hot cakes in the industry. But we are not going to sit back and wait. We have decided to bring potential employers to meet all of you in Lagos this month,” Kuku told the graduates.
At the event, the Chairman of Schlumberger Africa, Mr. Shola Oyinlola, and the Head of Schlumberger West Africa, Engr. Eke Eke, both commended the delegates for making Nigeria proud.
“I have personally gone through the commendation notes from the assessors of the Nigerian trainees and I was very impressed. I commend the Federal Government of Nigeria for getting this one right. This is what government everywhere in the world must do: build capacity. I challenge the graduates to quickly begin to reap from the benefits of divestment of a number of oil and gas multinationals from Nigeria’s downstream sector. It is your country and you now have the requisite training; you are now truly prepared to fly,” Mr. Oyinlola counseled the graduates.
In the same vein, Engr. Eke explained that the Nigerian graduates stand very good chance of being employed given that their training duration of one year is the longest ever he could recall, which he said is a very good thing.
“You have trained here, the acclaimed university of oil and gas, for one year. This, on its own, is amazing. It does not happen often. Most employers anywhere in the world will be glad to hire you. So make good the opportunity your training has afforded you. You now have all that it takes to even rise to become the Managing Director of Schlumberger,” Eke admonished the graduates.
The graduates also received high commendations from the Nigerian Ambassador to France, who was represented by a Minister in the Embassy, Mr. Alani Bello, and the representative of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who pledged continued support of the French Government for the training programmes of the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta in France.
In their remark, the delegates who spoke through their team leader, Oba Asime Charles, thanked Hon. Kuku and President Jonathan for offering them the opportunity to benefit from the first class training at the Schlumberger facility in France.
“We have become living evidences of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan,” the excited team leader said.
Schlumberger is the world’s leading supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to customers working in the oil and gas industry worldwide. Employing approximately 120,000 people representing over 140 nationalities and working in more than 85 countries, Schlumberger provides the industry’s widest range of products and services from exploration through production.
Schlumberger partners with NEXT to deliver complete oil and gas training and career development solutions for organizations and professionals worldwide.
NEXT has access to well-equipped, global Schlumberger training centers and technical facilities, where participants gain practical, hands-on experiences. These facilities run multidisciplinary theory and practical training programs, which encompass classrooms, practical workshops, discipline-special simulators of field operations including but not limited to a mock up drilling rig, mock-up training wells for cased and open hole logging, production stimulation pads, cementing pads and completion pads.