Ernest-NwapaStakeholders have identified weak synergy among regulators as the bane of local content development in the country.

Gathered at the maiden Nigerian Content Roundtable organised by a non-governmental organisation, The Borderless, in Lagos on Wednesday, the stakeholders recalled that the Nigerian Content Act was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan in April 2010 to increase indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry, which is predominantly dominated by international oil companies.

Apart from creating value for Nigerians through the domestication of oil and gas exploration and production technology, they maintained that the spirit of the Act required that standards should be maintained in oil and gas operations in the country.

They, therefore, called on the industry regulators to share intelligence and synergise in order to ensure an effective implementation of the local content policy of the Federal Government.

This, according to them, is in consonance with the theme of the roundtable, ‘The significance of quality assurance and standards.’

The Deputy Director, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Mrs. Oluremi Ayeni, said specific agencies were established to regulate specific sectors.

According to her, SON’s name is always mentioned when irregularities are noticed because of the word ‘standards’ in the organisation’s name

She said, “What put SON on the spotlight is the word ‘standards.’ Many Nigerians do not realise that there are specific agencies for specific sectors. We have the Department of Petroleum Resources for the entire oil and gas sector while the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board strictly regulates implementation and ensure compliance with the local content policy.

“The challenge here is that may be there should be more synergy among the regulators in areas of sharing information in order to promote the significance of quality assurance and standards in all sectors.

“For instance, there has been a shift in focus from offshore exploration to deep offshore exploration. There is a need for capacity building and synergy between SON and NCDMB,” she added.

Ayeni stated that since training was very pivotal in capacity building, SON might begin the accreditation of training centres in Nigeria while training providers should aim at being accredited.

Another discussant, who represented Akeprime, Mr. Adeniyi Adekoya, emphasised the need for training, saying, “oil majors have been bringing universities from abroad to train Nigerians at the entry level in a bid to keep the local content standards.”


Information from Punch was used in this report.