Swapo central committee member Hofni Iipinge has called on the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation to send 20 Grade 11 pupils and those doing advanced subsidiary to Brazil or other countries to study courses related to oil and gas.
Iipinge said this in his letter to higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi on Wednesday.
According to Iipinge, this would capacitate the pupils to take up jobs in the oil and gas industry in the country.
United Kingdom-headquartered energy giant Shell has made a new oil discovery in an exploration well offshore Namibia with Northern Ocean’s Deepsea Bollsta semi-submersible drilling rig. This is the third oil discovery in Namibia since February 2022.
The light oil discovery was made in the Jonker-1X deepwater exploration well in the PEL-39 exploration licence area, which is located 270 kilometres offshore Namibia.
“I am as well calling the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, in consultation with Ministry of Mines and Energy, to promote oil and gas-related courses, build conducive infrastructure for skills training as a case of emergency and revise the curriculum to include oil and gas courses for our students to specialise,” he said.
Iipinge said Namibia does not need to import experts when it has young people capable and ready to serve the nation.
“My courage goes to the Namibian young people to make wise decisions in order to grab this opportunity I am advocating,” he said.
Iipinge also called upon the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises, in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Energy and all parastatals, to fully fund the identified students.
“Time is now to make Namibia shine by eradicating hunger, poverty and disease as well as to be economically independent,” he said.
Iipinge said Namibia can do this without foreign interference, which he said comes with an agenda of stealing the country’s natural resources while Namibians are swinging in the pool of poverty.
“Oil and gas industry will support millions of jobs, provide lower energy costs for consumers and ensure energy security for the country and prevent us from dependency syndrome,” he said.
Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation spokesperson Selma Ngola says the decision to send students abroad to obtain oil- and gas-related qualifications does not lie with the higher education ministry only.
This would be done in consultation with the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
“We don’t budget for student funding. That responsibility lies with our student body, the Namibia Students Financial Assitance Fund,” Ngola says.