The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Imperial College of London and four leading universities in Nigeria are collaborating in working out a framework for developing world class research for the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
This collaboration, which is spearheaded by the NCDMB seeks to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for oil and gas research at the Federal Universities of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Federal Universities of Technology in Akure, Ondo State and Owerri, Imo State, as well as the Niger Delta University, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The aim is to solve oil and gas industry problems in Nigerian universities and local research centres thereby growing local research capacities and retaining huge spend which stakeholders normally spend on research overseas.
Speaking at the Needs Assessment Workshop on the Board’s CoE initiative held at Imperial College London recently, the Acting Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr. Patrick Daziba Obah explained that the agency conceived the policy to galvanise the development of home-grown research and technology in the oil and gas industry.
He listed other objectives to include developing a pool of capable researchers and world class research centres, linking the oil and gas industry to academia and local supply chain through research programmes and creating employment and training opportunities for Nigerians on the back of research projects domiciled in-country.
He noted that the Imperial College had an enviable track record in research capabilities and collaboration with the oil and gas industry and would be expected to provide technical support to the Research Centers of Excellence being promoted by the Board.
Obah, who was represented by the General Manager, Zonal Coordination and Board’s Projects, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah noted that the Board invited the NNPC to participate in the CoE initiative because of the corporation’s leadership role and enormous influence in enforcing Federal Government’s policy in the oil and gas industry.
In his presentation, the Head of Department for Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College, Prof Mark Sephton confirmed that the Institute had supported a number of countries on similar initiatives and was currently collaborating with Petrobras of Brazil to develop its Sustainable Gas Institute, a world class Research and Development Institute for Gas.
He discussed various models for CoE and highlighted the need to develop the required infrastructure and adopt the right recruitment plan for the CoE. He promised that the institution would assist the Board with strategies for investment, funding models and as well as help distill identified research areas into specific scopes.
In his comments, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Local Content, Hon Emmanuel Ekon confirmed that the legislature’s participation in the workshop had offered them an opportunity to understand the workings of NCDMB and strategy for implementing Nigerian Content.
He charged other agencies to engage the National Assembly in their activities so as to reduce executive/ legislature friction over government initiatives.
Ekon assured that the House of Reps will support NCDMB in its quest to establish Centers of Excellence for Research and Development as well as on other initiatives.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu had while delivering a speech at a recent workshop on Nigerian Content Policy in Calabar, Cross Rivers State confirmed that the oil and gas industry would encourage Research and Development to drive the development of home grown technology, innovation and enhance production processes in the industry.
The road map for the setting up of the R & D Centres of Excellence is to be developed into short term, medium and long term goals with the Board, Imperial College and universities expected to work on specific responsibilities.