Concerns mount over influx of foreign oil, gas divers in Nigeria
Concerns have continued to mount over the domination of foreign divers particularly South Africans who have allegedly flooded the Nigerian oil and gas market depriving the indigenous divers by about 90 per cent.
This development, according to the President, Under Water and Hyperbaric Medical Society of Nigeria (UHMSON), Emmanuel Ekugo, showed that about 2,000 Nigerian divers are recently being unemployed.
Ekugo, who made this known in a statement in Lagos, said this domination means that over N300 billion spent by the Federal Government yearly on divers benefit mostly South Africans in Nigeria.
Noting that Nigerian divers are roaming the streets looking for jobs as the best they can get is freelancing jobs, casual or nothing whereas lots of diving jobs are available. He urged the Federal Government to promote the engagement of local divers in line with the Nigerian Content agenda.
Ekugo said: “South African diving contractors come to Nigeria, push their ways through corruption, via immigration and others. Get the jobs for their people rejecting Nigeria’s well trained divers by saying Nigeria has no qualified Hyperbaric doctors whereas, there are many of us well qualified doctors which formed the UHMSON registered with CAC.
“They cheat our people, they bribe their way through in order to get juicy jobs and make Nigerian divers redundant. The South African divers in Nigeria don’t even report to us for medical check-up, they don’t get their jobs from Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigerian Diving Association (NAPROD).
He alleged that South African diving doctors/contractors connive with other association to disqualify the divers and also discriminate against the doctors.
“A typical example was given years back when a Nigerian diver with my medical certificate got a job offshore to dive for a South African company, out of 24 diver employed, the only Nigerian with my Hyperbaric medical certificate was driven out as they said Nigerians have not advanced in high-tech.