The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said indigenous companies operating in the nation’s oil and gas sector must upscale their capacity for global competitiveness.
The NNPC said this would help to achieve the target of reducing the cost of oil production in the country on a sustainable basis.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said this recently at a virtual stakeholder consultative summit organised by the Senate Committee on Local Content, according to a statement on Wednesday.
A press release by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, quoted Kyari as saying that there was a need to amend the Local Content Act to reflect current realities in the industry.
The NNPC boss, who was represented by the Group General Manager, Corporate Planning & Strategy, Mrs Eyesan Oritsemeyiwa, argued that there was a need to have a legislation to resolve the issues of funding challenges faced by local players.
According to him, 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.”
According to Kyari, 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.
He hailed the National Assembly’s initiative to review and amend the Local Content Act and urged the committee to ensure that it was carried out in a timely fashion in order for the law to deliver maximum value for the nation.
The GMD commended 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.