Dapo Omolade, Chief Executive Officer of Hybrid Group, has fingered knowledge gap as a reason for Nigerians’ lack of adherence to safety measures.
Omolade, who is also the Founder of Dome Initiative, lamented the dearth of safety professionals, saying the profession needs more individuals to bridge the gap.
He spoke in Lagos at the TSD 3.0 graduation ceremony organised by Dome Initiative in partnership with the Hybrid Group.
He also said the nine graduates who have undergone their six-month HSE-Technical Skills Development (TSD) Programme would help in closing these gaps, adding that it was an intensive exercise divided into five phases.
“This programme started many years ago and the whole purpose of doing this is to increase the health and safety knowledge base of Nigerians. The reason why we do not have safety awareness in Nigeria is because the knowledge is missing. There are not many people who understand safety in Nigeria and there are not many safety professionals.
“We saw this as a gap that needed to be filled. Our own strategy is to train these people to go into society and companies and help set up safety systems for people to understand what to do when it comes to health and safety,” he said.
On the programme, he said it was divided into five parts and the first phase “was the phase of fundamental knowledge and principle where we built their knowledge from the scratch. Then we moved to the field, which was phase two. From phase two, we moved to the office again. When they were done with that, they came and met with industry experts who spoke to them. The final phase, they went back to the field to put those things into practice.”
Also speaking, Lucy Kokole, a graduate, urged safety professionals to educate Nigerians, saying they must be made to understand that safety is a lifestyle.
She said: “Most people don’t know what health and safety is. We should educate them on safety and let them understand that it is a lifestyle because it is our duty to let them know the importance.
“Before now, I had a lackadaisical attitude towards safety. With the training, I now understand what needs to be done at all times. I will do my best to educate others as a safety professional.”
Meanwhile, Tayo Opatayo, a Human Resource Consultant, in his keynote address, urged the graduates to have a global mindset even when solving local problems.
He added that “your career can be globally relevant irrespective of where you are. If you don’t function from a global mindset, you will struggle with the macro-economic realities. You need to start thinking beyond Lagos and Nigeria.”