Africa’s oil producing countries can develop their technological capacities and capabilities by learning from Nigeria if regional integration is embraced as a survival strategy post COVID-19, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has said.
The Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, NCDMB, Tunde Adelana, stated this, according to a statement, during a Webinar hosted by Majorwaves Energy Report recently, with the theme; “Optimising Local Content through Regional Integration in a post COVID-19 Africa.” He said that local content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry was not about indigenisation, but domiciliation and domestication of skills.
He added that indigenous companies have since built capacities on the back of the policy. “Africa is a very rich continent and we have a lot of mineral resources everywhere. We need to look back and do some more research into our local resources, to see how they can be utilized to support, not just the oil and gas sector, but the entire economy at large. “R&D is the bedrock of any development. We need to continue to evolve, to create values.
R&D is very key on this and I think this is one of the opportunities that Africa as a continent needs to take on, post Covid-19,” he said. Also speaking at the webinar, a legal expert on structuring, local content, documentation and negotiation of oil, gas and petrochemical transactions, Dr. NJ Ayuk, enjoined Nigerian oil and gas services firms to take advantage of opportunities in Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique and other Africa countries post COVID-19.
“Nigeria for example, has competent oil services firms but finds it difficult operating in fellow African countries because of local content laws” he said, while urging Nigeria to lead the campaign for a regional content law.
According to the Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber, “in the last two years, there has not been any major project in Africa.” He then called on Africa oil producers to make their fiscals competitive, so as to attract big projects. He lauded the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), describing it as one of the most successful LNG in the world.
On her part, Director of Technical Support Services, Petroleum Authority of Uganda, Peninah Aheebwa, said national content in the Ugandan oil industry was about value creation and retention in-country. She said: “For us, National Content means in-country value creation and retention, whilst ensuring competitiveness, efficiency and effectiveness.”
Lending his voice to the discussion, Head, Oil and Gas Southern Africa, Standard Bank Group, Paul Eardley Taylor, said that there was an existence of local content escalator for all projects in Mozambique.
As countries are strategizing on the way forward post COVID-19 pandemic, African countries are expected to recover faster collectively and to benefit more from one another with regional integration strategy, which was the highlight of the webinar.