• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Bureaucratic inefficiency in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas sector: Urgent need for accountability and sustainability

Building a future-ready workforce: Prioritising skills development and innovation in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry

By Samira Bello

Hey, guys! It’s your favourite Gen Z girl here, and today I’ll be talking about the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. I know, I know, it’s a sensitive topic, but hear me out. Let’s use this scenario to make it easier to understand.

I need you all to think about a country endowed with enormous oil reserves, a resource that may spur economic expansion and wealth. And now, imagine the same country, hindered by a sluggish and choked industry, struggling to reap the fruits of this richness. That is the oil and gas industry’s challenge in Nigeria. But have no fear—this is a call to action, not a tale of hopelessness. Fasten your seatbelts, for we are going to analyse the inefficiencies that beset this key sector and, more significantly, investigate a plan for bringing it back to life.

Read also: SLB Nigeria, EnServ partner to deliver services to oil and gas industry

Have you ever imagined a medical doctor treating a patient in an emergency like a bureaucratic, inefficient machine? That’s exactly what’s happening in the oil and gas sector!

Delays are like the doctor taking too long to respond to the emergency room. Projects and investments are put on hold, waiting for approval and clearance. Every passing moment feels like an eternity, and the patient’s condition worsens with each tick of the clock, much like a project left in limbo or an investment waiting for the green light.

Bureaucracy is like the doctor getting tangled in red tape. Endless paperwork, permits, and licences are needed just to get started. It’s like the doctor is more concerned with filling out forms than saving the patient’s life!

Indolence is like the doctor lacking the effort and motivation to even show up to work. Government officials are not held accountable for their actions, and it’s like they’re not even trying to improve the sector. The patient is suffering, and the doctor is MIA!

Cutting corners is like the doctor taking shortcuts that put the patient’s life at risk. Companies prioritise profits over safety and sustainability, putting entire communities in danger. It’s like the doctor is more concerned with their reputation than the patient’s well-being!

Insecurity is like the doctor’s office being a dangerous place. Corruption, oil theft, and vandalism are rampant, making it difficult for businesses to operate safely. It’s like the patient is in the emergency room, but the hospital is under attack!

The essence of the problem lies in the misplaced focus. Just as the primary goal of the medical profession is to save lives and promote health, the primary goal of the oil and gas sector should be to efficiently produce energy, drive economic growth, and foster technological innovation. When bureaucracy takes precedence over these fundamental objectives, the system becomes inefficient and counterproductive. Streamlining processes and cutting through unnecessary red tape can ensure that both doctors and energy sector professionals can focus on what truly matters—delivering results and making a positive impact.

Read also: Oil and Gas as a catalyst for growth: Critical reform ideas

We are in dire need of comprehensive policies. These policies should not only promote transparency in the way the sector is managed; they should also enforce a culture of accountability. Every stakeholder in the sector must be held accountable for their actions (or inactions). This is necessary to deter corrupt practices and foster a system where everyone is responsible for the growth and development of the sector.

The future of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is not set in stone. By demanding transparent policies, fostering accountability, and prioritising sustainability, we can transform this ailing industry into a powerhouse for economic growth and environmental responsibility. Let’s not be the generation that fiddled while the oil rig burned. Let’s be the generation that ignites a new era of prosperity for Nigeria.

 

Samira Bello; Law Student, Entrepreneur