Nigerians oil and gas professionals are replacing foreign expatriates in oil majors in Nigeria no thanks to covid-19. This is because most of the expatriates who travel back home because of the pandemic have not returned to Nigeria after the lockdown was eased and international flights were allowed into the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, during an interview on ChannelsTV on Monday.
According to the Minister, the Coronavirus pandemic has created several opportunities, as he explained that the development has given Nigerians the chance to be engaged with jobs that the expatriates would have done.
“COVID-19 has allowed our people to be more engaged. At the beginning of the lockdown, expatriates left Nigeria as they had to return to their countries and they have not returned till now. That means Nigerians have to step in their shoes. Since then a lot of Nigerians are more engaged in the decision making in the sector.” He said.
A significant number of expatriates in Nigeria pre-covid oversaw some of the country’s biggest companies. They played such roles as Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Financial Officers, and more. Interestingly, they are not all Europeans and Americans.
Furthermore Nigerians are able to take over these expatriate job because a significant number of Nigeria’s big corporations have foreign entities as majority shareholders and Nigerians over the years have understudied these expatriates. In view of this, it is understandable when the owners of such companies bring in their people to better represent their interests.