By Amby Uneze in Owerri
The Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited has stressed the need for development of indigenous technology to drive the oil and gas industry to boost local content. To this end, the oil firm is partnering about 120 indigenous Technology companies in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State to showcase “their capacities and capabilities development.”
Vice Chairman /Managing Director of the company, Massimo Insulla made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the company’s Indigenous Technology Forum and Exhibition for its Deep Offshore indigenous contractors held at the Imo Concorde Hotels, Owerri on Thursday.
He said that the company recently organised training programme for 90 contractors in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, and for 60 in the same category on Succession Planning in Asaba, Delta State.
He said that about 360 had been trained by the firm under its Vendors Development Programme, 250, under the Vendors Upgrade Awareness, and 120, in Vendors Exhibition, Gas Closure and Opportunities Engagement and provision of electricity to the Oguta Oil and Gas Park.
Insulla, added that the company would continue to partner with the host communities, adding that it would diversify into other areas of capacity building development in the Small and Medium businesses and community content.
He said for two days, officials and stakeholders would brainstorm in Owerri, the following skills in manufacturing, fabrication, marine vessels, environmental services, would be exposed to their contractors, preferring the way forward.
The Managing Director said apart from pioneering the JV Independent Power Project (IPP), and construction of the Power Plant in Opkai and delivery of 480 MVA, into national grid to stimulate economy and create jobs, the company would continue to play a leading role in the provision of water, health facilities, education, social infrastructure, employment , capacity building, skills acquisition, micro credits and green river projects, among others.
In his speech, the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Udo Agoha, said he was aware that the company was one of the oil firms operating in Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Local Council Areas of the State , noting that the relationship between the company and the host communities have been cordial.
He appealed that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between them should “eliminate staggering implementation” to avoid acrimony.
According to the Imo Governor, “it is important to maintain a conducive operational environment free from militancy and restiveness. To achieve this, you must liaise with the government to bring all parties to dialogue at a roundtable”.
He called for the operation of the global best practices in the industry, stating that “it is gratifying to note that Agip had accepted to adopt the GMoU process, which will commence in 2017”.
The governor urged the oil firm to contribute in providing gainful employment for the youths, stressing that “as the country suffers from recession, the Agip in collaboration with the Imo State Government should embrace agriculture with vigor.”