Stakeholders in the downstream sector have tasked federal government to double effort on enhancing local content in the oil and gas industry to enable enormous participation of indigenous companies in the sector.
According to them, local content is quantum of composite value added to or created in the Nigerian economy by a systematic development of capacity and capabilities through the deliberate utilisation of human and material resources and services in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
The stakeholders, who spoke at Centre for Petroleum Information’s (CPI) Industry Luncheon in Lagos, maintained that the government and regulatory authorities in the downstream sector have not enough considered Nigerian content as an important element to overall project development and management philosophy for project execution.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nestoil Plc, Earnest Azudalu, said that with the coming into effect of the Local Content Act, the federal government of Nigeria had established the basic enabling legal framework to support meaningful local effort at participation in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Earnest said that the Nigerian content initiative had changed the country downstream landscape because it had given more companies an opportunity to compete and also exist as stakeholders in the industry, stating that participants in the sector were few and could only survive through government support.
He stated that the policy had positive implications on the economy at large but the government needed to double fold enhancement support to assist the promotion of the local content and made ways for other sectors stakeholder’s strong support towards implementation of similar measures in their sectors of the nation economy.
Reeling on current position of the government policy on the initiative, Earnest said that the strides had come along and that the policy was yet to fully gain international companies side on, to the local companies services recognition.
This is where government interference is needed; improvement is still large. Strategic business development and work ability evaluation remains constant if we are to improve ourselves to a position far greater than where we are today.
The few stakeholders should continuously challenge them to do better and deliver even under strict time constraints.
Looking back at the last two decades, I can only marvel at the strides we have achieved. The sheer magnitude of our enterprise is sufficient proof that vision, perseverance and opportunity can lead to success.
The Nestoil CEO called on the government to provide avenue for more indigenous participation so that support for Nigerian content would continue to be a part and parcel of our policy and operations.
Information from The Guardian was used in this report.