ELECTRONIC RECORDS MANAGEMENT (ERM) IN THREE OIL AND GAS COMPANIES IN NIGER DELTA REGION OF NIGERIA
The purpose of the study was to investigate the state of Electronic Records Management (ERM) in Oil and Gas companies. Descriptive survey design method was used for the study. The study was carried out in SPDC (Shell), Schlumberger and AOS Orwell by using the entire record practitioners who work in the company’s record centers. Hence the accessible population was 55 out of 61. The questionnaire consisting of 80 items was the instrument used to collect data which were presented in tables and analyzed using percentage (%) for research question 1 and overall mean (X) for the research question 2 to 7. However, from analysis of data gathered through questionnaire, the state of ERM is unsatisfactory because digitalizing tablet and standard software packages did not receive considerable response. On electronic accessibility media; name of creator, released date and name of intended audience did not receive considerable response. More so, electronic preservation methods preserving records in external archives in another location did not receive considerable responses. Progressively, electronic competence of record practitioners, providing access to records did not receive considerable responses. The study further reveals that, the companies under study faced the following challenges: Records change and become unreadable after sometime; the context of electronic records and its relation to other records can easily be lost; inadequate standard software for managing electronic records and electronic records are subject to undetectable changes. All these are the bane of electronic record management in the Oil and Gas companies studied. Recommendations were made on how to remedy specific lapses and by so doing, it improves the current trends in ERM in three Oil and Gas Companies in Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Among the recommendations are; adequate, qualified and competent professionals such as those that have background knowledge in library and information science, record and archival management, information technology and electronic storage system should be employed. Such caliber of staff can electronically initiate records management programs, capture records, organize and describe records, provide access to records, preserve record, and deposit records. The study also recommends provision of good electronic resources and technological museum where maintenance engineers can work on malfunction electronic resources.