Sen Akpoti tasks IOCs to provide 1000 yearly internships for students

Left: Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan and Senator Seriake Dickson during an interface with the board members of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB.


Lawmaker representing Kogi Central and Senate Chairman on Local Content, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan has urged International Oil Companies, IOCs, to provide a minimum of 1,000 internship slots for Nigerian students as part of their institutional strengthening programme.

She made the call on Wednesday during an interface with the board members of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB.

The senator expressed concern over the lack of open internship opportunities in oil and gas companies for Nigerian students to enhance their career-building skills and grow professional network.

She urged NCDMB to engage with the IOCs and allied companies to devise means of supporting Start-Ups by promoting innovation competitions and Hackathons.

“I spent the past week researching internship opportunities for Nigerian students in the oil and gas industry, but unfortunately, I was unable to find any.


“However, if you search for ExxonMobil internship on Google, you will only find opportunities available for American students on ExxonMobile USA website.

“The Nigerian curriculum as approved by the Ministry of Education mandates all students of science disciplines to undertake a compulsory internship programme called the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme, SIWES.

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“It’s heart-wrenching observing the difficulties our students encounter in identifying suitable locations to be recruited into as thousands keep being rejected company after company.

“It’s unacceptable, unhealthy for our educational system and we must find solutions.

“It is, therefore, imperative that oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria take due cognizance of this matter and make available no fewer than one thousand internship opportunities per company per year under the Human Capacity Development Programmes funded by the 1 percent, 2 percent and 3percent reserved monies from the total contracts awarded,” she added.

During the meeting, she restated the that NCDMB Act mandates that all IOCs reserve 3 percent of contracts worth 1 million to $100 billion, 2 percent for contracts worth $100 billion to $500 billion, and 1 percent of the contract value should be set aside for contracts of $500 billion and above for human capacity development.

These funds, according to her, are designated for three main purposes: Institutional strengthening, which accounts for 60 percent of the total amount, training of auxiliary services which accounts for 20 percent, and professional training, which also accounts for 20 percent.

She commended NCDMB for responding positively to the Local Content Committee’s documentation request and submitting extensive list of documents.

“This would accord us a chance to audit the Boards activities and appropriate projects accordingly,“ she added.

She requested the list of all ongoing and about-to-be-embarked-upon projects to which the NCDMB responded affirmatively.

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