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Chineme Okafor in Abuja
About N98 billion would be expended by a Nigerian firm, Mudiame International Limited to strengthen local content and human capacity development in Nigeriaâ€™s oil and gas sector, its Managing Director, Sunny Eromosele, has said.
Eromosele, told journalists in Abuja that the company would as part of the planned investment, complete a university with the primary focus on addressing human capacity challenges in the oil industry.
The university, he explained would train specialists for Nigeria oil, gas and manufacturing sector.
He explained the money would be spent over a 10-year period by the Nigerian-based testing, calibration and inspection company, to help bridge the gap in local content, especially technological know-how in the countryâ€™s oil, gas and manufacturing sectors.
According to him, Nigeriaâ€™s core challenge in the area of industrial development was not unconnected to human capacity development and technology.
He thus asked the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to focus on investing in technology, human capacity and general development of local content rather than bothering about investment in refinery.
Eromosele, noted that the lack of infrastructure and technology to develop local content in the country remained one of the most critical challenges undermining efforts aimed at boosting indigenous participation in the oil and gas sector.
He said, â€œThe focus of the NCDMB is to build on human capacity development such that they will be able to prepare ahead of future projects and grow local content in Nigeria, identify areas of deficiencies and play a major role by ensuring that the gap is bridged.
â€œThis is what they should focus on instead of deviating from their primary responsibility.
â€œAs at today, Nigeria has only about 10 professionals with NDT level three. India has over 10, 000. Nigeria has about only 30 trained oil and gas-welding engineers, less than five welding specialists.â€
â€œCan Nigerians boast of designing and building the refineries? Laboratory should be invested on. Training centres should be invested on. This will not only provide support for oil sector but also help manufacturing industry to grow.
â€œAs a country we need to invest in people who are able to take major roles in manufacturing to give maximum support to technology enhancement of oil and gas in Nigeria. We are investing about N98 billion into that,â€ he said.
According to him: â€œWith our eyes keen on quality, we execute all various tests required ranging from mechanical destructive test to Non Destructive test (NDT), civil test and chemical analysis . Our wide range of test with international standard can be readily obtained in Nigeria instead of going oversees to perform such tests.â€
He also said his company had been able to manage the issue of quality control in Nigeria, adding: â€œAs a company leading in the aspect of quality control, we are investing in human capacity development.â€
â€œThat is very important. The people need to be developed first. That is why we set up a wedding institute. We are not ending with that, to be able to capture the sector better, we are setting up a university. We are going to have an industry-based university that will support the oil and gas and manufacturing industry,â€ he stated.
He said while other countries had standardised processes for oil and gas projects executed in their countries, Nigeria has none, noting that this was unhealthy to her economy.
â€œIndia has standard, China has and Germany has standard but Nigeria do not have a standard and that is the bone of contention.
â€œMost projects have specifications but if we do not have standards, operators will be forced to come with their own standards because we do not have professionals. As long as this continues, the frustration would always be there. The operators come with the intention to repatriate their money back to their countries, so what Nigeria needs to do is to continue to support local content,â€ Eromosele added.