…as Nigeria targets 70% local content in the sector by 2027
SIMON UTEBOR, YENAGOA
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has stated that while over 15 African nations are producing and exporting crude oil, the sad reality is that Nigerian people have not benefitted maximally from this natural resource.
He rationalised that the situation might be because the country had not managed the proceeds optimally or it failed to domesticate the core operations of the industry.
Sylva made the assertion on Thursday at the maiden edition of the African Local Content Roundtable (ALCR) hosted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) at the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
He, however, said Nigeria had set an ambitious target to achieve 70 per cent local content in the oil and gas sector by 2027.
He said through implementation of local content, the country had achieved significant growth in-country value addition from less than five per cent in 2010 to 35 per cent in 2021.
He said the country’s success story in the oil and gas industry had led to bold step to extend local content to other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He stressed that as a caring African country, Nigeria had also considered it necessary to amplify the benefits of local content to fellow African countries hence the essence of the ALCR.
He noted that decades of hydrocarbon production in Africa had not translated to the desired economic growth in the continent.
Sylva stated: “While over 15 African nations are producing and exporting crude oil, the sad reality is that our people have not benefitted maximally from this natural resource, either because we have not managed the proceeds optimally or we failed to domesticate the core operations of the industry.
“We must therefore use the opportunity of this roundtable to initiate conversations around local content, share success stories, challenges and come up with policies that would deepen local participation and domiciliation in our respective countries.
“One of the pathways for this desired collaboration and cross-country development is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and I am pleased that we have a representative of AfCFTA in this forum.
“Indeed, AfCFTA provides an opportunity to create a single market through the facilitation of free movement of goods, services and investment within the 54-member states of the continent, creating access to 1.2 billion customers, with a cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over US$3.4 trillion.
“It is imperative that African oil-producing countries and their companies cooperate closely in developing and sharing capacities and capabilities to optimize the hydrocarbon deposits and achieve economic growth and development.”
He said Nigeria must take firm decisions and develop policies and projects that would position oil and gas industry competitively and sustain the economy under the emerging energy transition.
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, while speaking on how the roundtable could foster sustainable growth in the oil and gas industry, said he believed that African issues could only be solved by Africans.
Wabote said: “There is the need to discuss renewables which is now the seminar topic all over the world. What that means for Africa is that very soon, our natural resources that we have not even tapped will not be useful anymore.
“Therefore, we need to start the discussion on how can we use our hydrocarbon resources to migrate into renewables. That is very important for us. So, in setting this process going, NCDMB leading in the development of local content in the oil and gas sector decided to bring all Africa oil producers together for us to start the discussion on the sustainability and continuous growth to tackle poverty situation in the continent.”