Nigeria’s state-run oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said indigenous companies operating in the nation’s oil and gas sector must upscale their capacity so as to be globally competitive.
NNPC Chief Executive Mele Kyari said that this would help Nigeria to slash the cost of oil production. Mr Kyari made these comments this during a virtual stakeholder consultative summit organised by the Senate Committee on Local Content, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The NNPC boss, who was represented by the Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Eyesan Oritsemeyiwa, said that there was a need to have a legislation to resolve the issues of funding challenges faced by local players.
Mr Kyari said that the oil and gas business required high technical skills and competence to compete favourably at the global stage.
Speaking further on the need for greater capacity building on the part of indigenous companies, he said, “The nation’s education system has a great role to play in the development of highly skilled technical manpower.
“Any legislation on Nigerian content development that fails to embrace issues of investment in the educational system is not likely to achieve much.
“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.”
Mr Kyari said Nigeria had recorded some progress as it had moved from an era when there was no single indigenous operator in the oil and gas industry to the current situation where the number of indigenous operators has risen to double digits.
He applauded the National Assembly’s initiative to review and amend the Local Content Act and urged the House Committee to ensure that it was carried out in a timely fashion in order for the law to deliver maximum value for the nation.
Mr Kyari praised the legislators’ 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.