By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has lamented that the divestment by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and their reluctance to make fresh investments in the nation’s oil and gas industry have worsened incidence of capital flight out of Nigeria.
The development according to NCDMB is stifling the nation’s economy of the much-needed foreign exchange with funds used as loans to acquire oil and gas assets leaving the country instead of being used to develop new production facilities in-country.
Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote, stated this in his convocation lecture delivered at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) Effurun, Delta State, titled “Defining the Value of Local Content in Petroleum Education” at weekend.
He posited that the IOCs’ divestment has resulted in the emergence of indigenous companies playing major roles in exploration and production activities such that companies like AITEO, FIRST E&P, EROTON and others have acquired assets and are now responsible for producing about 15 per cent of Nigeria’s oil and more than 60 per cent of domestic gas.”
On energy transition, he advised Nigeria and other hydrocarbon-rich countries to develop the requisite capacity and capability to produce and utilise their fossil fuel resources given that the need to develop capacity for fossil fuel production has become imperative in view of the global trend from oil and gas to the provision of funding, manufacturing of equipment and development of supply chain in support of renewable energy sources.
Wabote added that there was an urgent need for the Federal Government and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to intensify efforts in the promotion of quality petroleum education and development of competent manpower to help Nigeria meet the challenges of the ongoing energy transition and expected boom in the gas sector.
According to him, the ongoing debate and the deadlines being set in respect of energy transition underscored the need to develop home-grown skill sets to develop and manage the nation’s natural resources. He stressed that ‘‘the narrative around energy transition has further revealed the need to ensure that there is a direct link between our petroleum education and the development and utilisation of our hydrocarbon resources, so we are able to deal with any outcome of the transition.”
Commenting on the recent enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and the Decade of Gas initiative, Wabote pointed out that those developments would not only engender investments and utilisation of the nation’s estimated 600 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves but also lead to a boom in the gas sector, which would benefit discerning institutions, investors, operators, and service providers.
He added that “these scenarios require a robust petroleum education sector to ensure that our in-country skill sets are available and sufficient to support the exploration, development, production, and processing of hydrocarbon resources.”
The NCDMB boss charged educational institutions in Nigeria to prepare for the opportunities and challenges of energy transition and gas revolution by preparing robust curriculum in petroleum education with the mindset of enabling Nigerians develop and utilise our hydrocarbon resources using our home-grown technology. The institutions should put require greater focus on development of top-notch graduates to enable the development of Nigerian hydrocarbon resources – especially gas, he canvassed.
This, he further explained, “will ensure that we are not forced out from the development of hydrocarbon resources due to lack of technical capability as was the case with coal development in Enugu.”
He maintained that FUPRE is an institution devoted to petroleum education and should be at the forefront of preparing our manpower needs for any outcome or impact of Energy Transition.
Tags: #IOCs #divestment #crippling #economy #worsening #forex #crisis #NCDMB #Sun #Nigeria