“GE will pay you to train you.”
General Electric is more than just a technology company, it is a hub of some sort building an ecosystem that is fostering enduring solutions in different industries, including oil and gas, healthcare, power, transportation and many more.
GE is a global leader in skills development spending $1 billion annually on research and development, and training and education programs around the world. As part of its training and capacity development program in Nigeria, GE Oil and Gas has spent over $2 million dollars in the last 16 months training 14 Nigerian graduate engineers locally and abroad in subsea technology. These engineers have now been on-boarded as full-time GE employees working in its Onne Facility in Rivers State, where it has commenced fabrication of subsea wellheads.
I visited GE’s Onne Facility in Rivers State recently and I spoke with some of the Engineers and Staff there who were very busy, but keen on sharing just how GE has impacted their careers and lives.
“I like GE’s work ethics, there is clarity here. I have been with GE for 21/2 years now and it has been good. I practically had no idea about subsea wellheads before coming to GE, but coming here I have been trained and now I know so much about subsea technology…at GE I know that I am valuable, I am doing something that the company values, so there is high potential for me to grow here,” says Samuel, one of the Graduate Trainees at the Onne Facility.
In a male dominated field, it was quite fascinating for me to see that women found relevance and are involved in core technical operations work at GE.
“The fact that whether you’re male or female, whether you’ve been here one hour or ten years, once you come in there’s the opportunity to take on leadership. It’s not a hierarchical company where you have to wait five years before you start to take decisions that are impactful,” says Notey Akpotive.
Investing in Nigeria’s future leaders is a big focus for GE, because they believe that when you equip people with the necessary tools and empower them with specific skills and techniques, they would be able to deliver sterling performance.
GE’s Graduate Engineering Training Program, which Samuel and others are beneficiaries of, is designed to have hands-on experience on subsea production equipment and learn about all the components and how they are assembled. The content is structured to relate to the real world of subsea products and engineering, helping the trainees to connect the dots.
General Electric Oil and Gas in Nigeria is expanding its operations to Calabar and anticipates that the ‘state-of-the-art’ facility will be a hub for GE’s industrial businesses including turbomachinery, subsea, power generation, aero, distributed power and repair services.
Speaking about the Onne Facility and GE’s plans for its bigger facility in Calabar, Uzo Nwagwu, Chief Operations Officer (COO), GE Oil & Gas says:
“Onne represents our local content footprint in the Oil and Gas sector with impact in job creation, training and capacity building and supplier development.
Calabar will have a positive impact on the community. It will create 250 direct jobs and an estimated 2,000 indirect positions. Nigerians will account for 90% of direct employment at the Calabar facility. It will lay foundation for knowledge and technology transfer to Nigerian sub-suppliers, academic institutions, and people; greater development of in-country capabilities.”
With GE’s dedicated commitment to training and research development, it really can boast of the best people and best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. It has remained a clear, committed partner with Nigeria. It has technology and know-how to allow Nigeria reliably and safely bring energy resources to the world.