Covenant University, Forte Oil Mull Partnership
Covenant University and a leading indigenous oil company, Forte Oil, are discussing the possibility of a partnership, the company’s Head of Talent Management, Nduka Okoisor has revealed.
Okoisor, one of the speakers at the 2016 Covenant University-International Conference on African Development Issues (CU-ICADI), made the disclosure while presenting his paper, ‘Method and Concept for Enabling Human Development Capital in Africa’.
“We are trying to get Forte Oil to partner with Covenant University,” he said. “We will be signing an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding), but there’s no date yet. It’s still work in progress.”
Okoisor, who said he did not believe there are no jobs in Africa, would rather attribute the problem to the lack of skill set and competence.
Using the employment demands and conditions of his company as an example, Okoisor wondered why Africa is underdeveloped when it has a population of 1.2 billion.
“Human capital is the skill and knowledge a person has. Then how do you add value to yourself and the nation? The schools, as a method of developing human capital, should improve the curriculum by liaising with the private sector on calibre of graduates needed.
Industrial knowledge input, Okoisor said, reduces learning curve and saves money. “We help in funding projects in universities and we build capacity of our staff in your university because you have the structure and equipment,” he said.
Forte Oil, he explained further, requires six to nine months internship for its staff rather than the three months offered by CU, adding that his company has exchange programmes and partnership with other organisations not into similar business as Forte.
“It expands knowledge, we do knowledge sharing, and it’s what we do regularly in our organization. We encourage retired professionals to lecture and mentor our staff by transferring knowledge,” Okoisor said.
“For Africa to be in the first world, investing in human capital is not negotiable.”
Prodded by a participant at the conference on why Forte Oil cannot approach the National Universities Commission (NUC) on the kind of graduates the company needs rather than the transfer of the task to the universities, Okoisor said, “Going through the NUC to persuade universities will be a very long process”.
Also, responding to the complaint made by a Postgraduate student of Covenant University on age limit set by companies for certain jobs, Okoisor urged young graduates to go for their Masters Degree not later than two to three years after graduation.