…Advocates review of Local Content Act
By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Wednesday, advocated a legislation to resolve the issues of funding challenges faced by local players.
In a statement in Abuja, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, also stated that there was need to amend the Local Content Act to reflect current realities in the industry.
Kyari, who stated this at a virtual stakeholders’ consultative summit, organised by the Senate Committee on Local Content, added that indigenous companies operating in the nation’s oil and gas sector must upscale their capacity for global competitiveness, as this was crucial in achieving the target of reducing the cost of oil production in Nigeria on a sustainable basis.
The NNPC boss, who was represented by the Group General Manager, Corporate Planning & Strategy, CP&S, Mrs. Eyesan Oritsemeyiwa, argued that there was need to have a legislation to resolve the issues of funding challenges faced by local players.
Kyari stressed that oil and gas business required high technical skills and competence to compete favourably at the global stage.
He disclosed that the country’s education system had a great role to play in the development of highly skilled technical manpower, adding that any legislation on Nigerian content development that fails to embrace issues of investment in the educational system was not likely to achieve much.
He said: “In terms of the interaction between industry and education, we think these new bills would present a good model that we should work with. People are the greatest assets of any nation.
“If you have the best brains in the industry today, as long as you are not getting good replacement for them from the educational sector when they grow old and retire, then your industry will collapse.”
He said the nation has made some good progress from the era when there was no single indigenous operator in the oil and gas industry to the current situation where local operators have risen to double digits, stressing that the trend should be encouraged.
He hailed the National Assembly’s initiative to review and amend the Local Content Act and urged the committee to ensure that it is carried out in a timely fashion in order for the law to deliver maximum value for the nation.
He called on the legislators to extend the local content law beyond the oil and gas industry to other sectors of the nation’s economy, stressing that it would open up the non-oil sectors to growth and development.
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