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Provide 1,000 Annual Internship Slots For Nigerian Students, Senator Natasha Tasks IOCs



Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan (PDP, Kogi Central), on Thursday, urged International Oil Companies (IOCs) to provide a minimum of 1,000 internship slots for Nigerian students as part of their institutional strengthening programme.

Akpoti-Uduaghan made the call in Abuja during an interactive session with the board members of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The lawmaker frowned at 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). 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%, 2% and 3% reserved monies from the total contracts awarded,” she said .

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

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

Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan commended the 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 also requested the list of all ongoing and about-to-be-embarked-upon projects to which the NCDMB responded affirmatively.