Local content agences looks to ramp up Nigeria content above 10%
Research and development (R&D) in the oil and gas sector of the economy looks set for a fresh impetus with the recent coming together of Dangote Oil Refinery and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to promote these critical issues where the country’s local content is yet to gain traction.
For instance, the Nigerian local content implementation regulator is yet to reach 10 percent of its targeted 70 percent by 2027. Experts in the Nigerian oil industry opine that NCDMB, the country’s agency that sets guidelines and minimum content levels for project related activities for Nigerian companies across the oil and gas value-chain, is yet to maximise its potentials more than a decade after its establishment.
Dangote Petroleum Refinery demonstrated its partnership effort by being the platinum sponsor of the just-concluded 2nd edition of the NCDMB Research & Development fair and conference 2021, which took place in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The well-attended conference, which saw the convergence of researchers, industry players, investors, finance enterprises and manufacturing companies to identify patentable or commercially viable products resulting from R&D activities, had the theme: “Creating Sustainable Collaboration in Research and Development for the Energy Sector”.
Already, Dangote Refinery has selected six graduates across the six geopolitical zones, in conjunction with NCDMB, to take the MSc and/or PhD programmes at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for Research & Development in Zeolites ZM5in.
The R&D fair afforded Dangote Refinery the opportunity to showcase its 650,000 barrels per day largest single train refinery project in the world; and what the company had done in terms of R&D during the construction of the massive refinery.
In the coming weeks, the refining plant would be moving on site a record 57,000-man workforce, as the refinery heads to its 2022 delivery date.
Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of NCDMB, while visiting the Dangote Refinery exhibition booth at the fair, commended the company for showing strong support to the board by participating in the fair.
Wabote expressed the need for companies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to start nurturing the growth of the country’s home-grown technology, rather than just being wholesome consumers of other people’s innovations.
Speaking on ‘Analysis of global practices of Research and Development,’ he said the combined R&D spend of just five countries: USA, China, Japan, Germany, and India – makes up 63.5 percent of the entire global R&D spend. The five countries also account for over 50 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDO).
“Africa, on the other hand, accounts for less than one percent of the global R&D spend; while its GDP is only three percent of the global GDP. There is a nexus between the spend on R&D and economic prosperity,” the NCDMB executive secretary added.
Wabote said from a long time in the past to the current age of global connectivity, R&D has always played a crucial role in opening up new chapters of modern life.
He listed some of the accomplishments of the board to include the establishment of the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council to advise the Board on matters relating to research and development in the oil and gas industry and the Development of R&D 10 Year Strategic Roadmap.
The minister of petroleum resources, represented by the permanent secretary, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, called on industry stakeholders and youths across the country to take advantage of the NCDMB’s R&D Centre to bolster adaptation of existing solutions; and also come up with new ones to address major challenges in the industry.
Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the theme for the fair captures stakeholders’ collective commitment to aggressively drive innovation, and position the oil industry on the path of an integrated energy sector, where field development and production solutions are sourced through local capabilities.