Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea (SHI-MCI) employed over 3,000 Nigerians at the peak of the construction and integration of the Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel, in 2018.
This fact was contained in a statement made available to Saturday Sun by Samsung. In it, it said that the $3.3 billion FPSO which it built for the Egina oilfield project being operated in Nigeria by the global oil giant, Total, offered a challenge in that most of the pioneering 3,000 employees had no industry qualifications or experience before starting work on the project.
But instead of mobilising employees from overseas to meet this challenge head-on, it invested in a training programme geared at identifying future Nigerian talents who could participate in the historic completion of the Egina FPSO.
“This decision resulted in thousands of Nigerians eventually joining Samsung team to form the core of Samsung’s first heavy industries operation on the African continent,” the company said.
“For instance, when Oghenegueke Godwin (today, one of the project’s welders) was hired as a cleaner of Samsung’s welding floor in 2014, he never expected that he would have a chance to be one of the first beneficiaries of Samsung’s free-of-charge welding training course.
“I started by watching over the shoulders of the students grinding, welding and coating,” Godwin said. “Seeing this, the Korean instructors invited me to help them with small tasks. Even though it was a small thing, having seen my commitment and hard work, they invited me to train with them. They said, ‘ok let this guy learn to weld.”
Godwin is now an internationally certified welder, permanently hired by Samsung as a professional welder. An international welding certificate training course similar to Oghenegueke Godwin’s, he added, can cost on average between N2.5 million and N2.8 million per person which makes the course unaffordable for many Nigerians without extra financial support.
Goanghun Kim, a senior trainer at Samsung’s Welding Qualification Center (WQC) said concerning Godwin: “There was lot of resistance amongst existing trainees. They saw him as beneath them. We told those students that background is not important. As long as you are devoted in developing your skills, that’s what matters to us and creating equal opportunities and instilling an inclusive work culture enabled Samsung to break record after record on the Egina project,” he said.
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