The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has identified lack of funding, technical skills, and low investment in area of education as forces affecting indigenous companies operating in the nation’s oil and gas sector, a situation the corporation said, needed urgent attention to enable the industry upscale its capacity for global competitiveness.
It said that since oil and gas businesses require high technical skills and competence to compete favourably at global stage, there was need for the country to have a legislation to resolve the issues of access to funding as well as others consider as hurdles by local players.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mallam Kyari, stated that Nigeria has good hands that can function and give the nation quality products but that issues of funding was a major issue that needed to be addressed so as to enable local players in the oil and gas sector operate as expected.
Speaking at a virtual stakeholder consultative summit organized by Senate Committee on Local Content, recently, Kyari indicated that the nation must also close the gap and that nation’s education system has a great role to play in the development of highly skilled technical manpower.
He explained that any legislation on Nigerian content development that fails to embrace issues of investment in the educational system was not likely to achieve much and that government needs to prioritise need of local players so as to have better hands that can face world competition.
“In terms of the interaction between industry and education, we think a new bill in this direction 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,” the GMD argued.
The NNPC boss claimed that the nation had in recent past made remarkable progress by paving ways for local operators to risen to double digits and that the government needs to keep and continue with the tempo.
Kyari commended National Assembly’s initiative on review and amendment of Local Content Act, just as he tasked the committee saddle with responsibility of overseeing activities of the local players, to ensure interest of the nation development was been protected.
“We must commend the legislators for the plan 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,” the statement added.