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[ANALYSIS] OPEANS @ 35: Celebrating  Safety In Nigeria’s  DownStream, Upstream Working Environment 

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Life they say, has no duplicate, hence any responsible organization, be it government or private must always  take the issue of Safety environment for workers, their training, and retraining very seriously as well as make it top most priority in their operations.

It is no news that scores of workers in Nigeria have been sent to their untimely graves as a result of unsafe workplace, and lack of proper training on safety issues, especially among those working in highly technologically advanced areas.

 To ensure workers safety are guaranteed at work place, management of most well Organized  companies in Nigeria  do spend heavily in building the capacity of their personnel on issues surrounding  safety, as they often engages the services of reputable experts working in duly registered firms that specializes in  professional training, with a view to increasing productivity.

However, while some local establishments with huge financial bases send their workers  overseas for such training, others patronize indigenous ones tested and trusted in the country.

One of such tested and trusted  foremost Safety Training Center that has rendered excellent service delivery to workers in Nigeria, especially those in the oil and gas, maritime and transport industries in the past 35 years of its existence, is ‘Opeans Safety Training Centre’  Limited, Port Harcourt Rivers state, with branch office in Warri, also in Delta, South-South Nigeria.

The  premium Safety  training company, established in 1988, is fully accredited by the  Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission, formerly known as the Department for Petroleum Resources DPR, and has not lost any human life since inception.

It has trained a huge number  of workers  in various sectors of the economy from  parts of the country, and is currently making serious   efforts  towards establishing presence in the north East part  of Nigeria, following a plan by the government  to commence oil exploration in that geo-political zone.

Speaking with some selected Journalists, including our Correspondent who were on a guided tour of Opeans facilities in Port Harcourt and Warri weekend, as part of activities lined up for the celebration of the company’s 35 years anniversary, Executive Director of the Organization, Dr. Ben  Nwoye, who expressed appreciation to God for the huge feat recorded during the period under review, said “In this 35 years of existence, we have helped in huge manpower development,  trained workers from  different parts of Nigeria, that  traveled abroad to work.

“Our Staff are made up of all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria . We employ people based on qualification and not on ethnicity.. Opeans  is a Centre of excellence for safety training. Standard remains our watchword. And above all, we thank God that since inception, we have not lost any human life”. 

OPEANS, which stands for

O- Oliver,

  1. – Pius

E- Egbo

A- Amuri

N- Nwoye

S – Sons, clocked 35 years this year, despite all odds, and has  maintained a competitive advantage in order to remain in the highly capital intensive industry.

Conducting  the Journalists round the  company’s state of the art facilities,  Dr.  Nwoye,  accompanied by his senior staff went into memory with nostalgia, recalling how Opeans was born.

According to him, “Opeans was established on 16th February, 1988 by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) under Registration of Business Names Act, 1961, as Opeans Enterprises Nigeria and was later incorporated under the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990 as a Limited Liability Company by shares on 14th March, 1995 with RC No. 267722 with the name, Opeans Nigeria Limited.

He disclosed that “OPEANS started her first business in the same year (1988) with Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited by training SPDC Swamp/Offshore personnel on Personal Survival Swimming and Advanced Swimming/Lifesaving, Aquatic First Aid/General First Aid, certification of SPDC personnel and contractors on Survival Swimming. These services were later extended to other Oil and Gas producing and servicing companies the same year. Since then, OPEANS has been promoting safety awareness to the Oil & Gas industries.

“We help the industry shape their working environment by making their people work safer in their working environment. We take people on a journey ensuring they have the knowledge, skills, ability and right attitude to operate safely and effectively in their workplace.

“With a clean and well maintained training swimming pool, training ground, conducive classrooms, training equipment and materials, we guarantee a safe and conducive environment for our clients. Our facility is well equipped with modern and state of the art training equipment to give our clients a simulation of what can be encountered in a real life scenario.

He added: “Our trainers and instructors are qualified professionals who have been trained by professional bodies including; Royal Lifesaving Society Commonwealth, Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON), Robert Gordon Institute of Technology (RGIT) Aberdeen and OSHAcademy. We are poised to render quality, efficient and effective training to our clients.

“We maintain a certain ratio of delegates to trainers and instructors in our theory and practical sessions to enable all participants to engage in all the training activities. This way there is greater individual attention and ample time for interaction between trainees and their instructor. Also there is individual hands-on practice during the training process”.

Nwoye explained further that “Our vision is to be a world class provider of efficient and quality safety training service and management in Oil & Gas, maritime, transport and other occupational health sectors that meet international standards.

“Our mission is to always ensure the best possible training for all at risk.

”Responsible Growth” is the hallmark of OPEANS activities. This means a commitment to continuous improvement in the way OPEANS impacts the health, safety and environment of Oil & Gas industries in Nigeria and its communities, its employees and of course, its customers.

The Executive  Director said: “We are  marking  a significant achievement in the life of Opeans Nigeria limited after 35 years of service delivery as a foremost safety consultancy firm in Nigeria.

“Opeans safety training centre Warri is the first of its kind in the South South region of Nigeria. It was purposefully developed to deliver world class safety training experience to men and women in the oil and gas industry, Maritime, Seafarers, Military, and Para- military organizations.

According Nwoye, who is the immediate past  Enugu state chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, “our Helicopter underwater Escape training module is designed and manufactured by Safetech, an European front line underwater safety equipment expert, adding that the HUET module has the capacity of simulating with near real – life accuracy helicopter crash in  body of water, such as river, sea or lake.

He further explained that the module is designed to accommodate four passengers and a pilot. It is equipped with 4-point belt and safety emergency release burtons, pointing out that it is also designed to self – retract in the event of serious emergency to prevent death or serious bodily injuries


Nwoye, who demonstrated before the Journalists how most of the hi-tech facilities are used, hinted  that ”Opeans have equally partnered with Secuma, a front line water sports safety expert to produce the best economically fitted and shock absorber sports helmet known to mankind. Additionally, Secuma produced the inflatable lifejackets in use in our training centre.

The Executive Director, had expressed appreciation to various organization and stakeholders in the oil and gas sector for their continuous  patronage, particularly the Nigerian Navy, Army, Air force, as well as  the Department for Petroleum Resources, DPR for its professional manner of discharging its regulatory assignment, stating  that “indeed, you all are part of today’s success story in Opeans.

At the  OPEANS Warri office  situated at 34, Opete Riad, off, Otukutu Junction, Warri, Delta State , the Journalists were equally conducted  round the company’s state of the Art  facilities by the Executive Director.

It would be recalled that the Warri office of the  indigenous ultra-modern state of the Art Opeans safety training Centre, was officially inaugurated on 26, June 2019  by the former  Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete  Ibas, with a charge on the company to always make international best practices its watchword.

The  Ex-Naval Chief, had during the ceremony expressed satisfaction with the professional   manner the foremost safety training firm in Nigeria, has been conducting its services over the years, positing that  extending its tentacle to Warri, “was a right step in the right direction.

Also present at the Port Harcourt office headquarters of the company to speak  with the newsmen  was the Chairman, Board of Directors of Opeans, who is also the  paramount Traditional Ruler of Amurri acient Kingdom, in Nkanu West Council area of Enugu state, His  Royal Majesty, Igwe Egbo Nwoye.

The Monarch, who is the elder brother to Dr Ben Nwoye the  (Crown Prince of Amurri kingdom) narrated to the media men on  how the company management had overcome hard times since inception.

The cordial relationship existing in the  company which has over 100 Staff strength  is a clear testimony that the Founder, Oliver Nwoye who died  in 1988 did not die in active service in vain as all indices show that his pet project like the Biblical mustard seed  has grown even many years after his demise. 


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