Expert Harps on Adherence to Local Content

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Hamid Ayodeji

The Publicity Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Mr. Ranti Omole, has stressed the need for adherence to Nigeria’s Local Content Act.

Omole, who is the chief executive officer of Radical Circle Group, said this during a panel discussion at a recent stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos.

According to him, Nigerian being several years late when it comes to enforcing the Local Content Act does not mean the nation does not know what it was doing.

“Investments that have higher risks usually have the most returns. This has motivated some Nigerian service providers to take high risks.

“Some invested as much as $100 million dollars into vessels, assets and that is enabling us to do some unbelievable things such as the pressure vessels that are being manufactured here in Nigeria.

“When you look at the level of technology and competence of Nigerians in the oil and gas sector and then benchmark with other countries, you would discover that our competence level is high.

“Thus, when you have a Local Content law, you are not competing against local companies, you are competing with international service companies that have vast experience and knowledge, so for you to replace someone that has been working with Shell for over 25 years, you must be highly innovative, competent and possess maximum understanding of the job description and requirement,” he explained.

On his part, the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari, noted that the only way to sustain long-term competitiveness as a country was to maximise the Local Content which reduces the rate of importation and boost export.

According to him, there has to be a strategic approach to creating an effective structure for the Nigerian Content so that.

Ojulari explained, “As part of our strategic efforts, we gave Nigerian operators in the oil and gas fields an edge over foreign operators in certain areas we saw they clearly have more knowledge.

“We also made some impact on indigenous asset ownership and divestment which benefited Nigerian oil and gas operators.

“In addition, human capacity development such as training is a major factor towards growing and sustaining the sector.

 “In terms of infrastructure development, we have also collaborated with the Bank of Industry to generate robust funding structure and also help build system to maximum operation level.”

Also speaking at the meeting, the Group Head, Oil and Gas, Bank of Industry, Ebehi Ehi-Omoike, said: “We really need to protect our industries because if we do not, we would not have capabilities, skill transfer, critical technical know-how by our own citizens.

“Maximising the production of our Local Content is very key to a sustainable developed economy and the future of our country so it should not be over looked anymore.

“Limiting importation on certain products and placing bans on some products is not the most efficient solution; rather it is just the short end of the stick. If we are to grow as a country, we need to think and act beyond that.”