By Sebastine Obasi
The Nigerian oil and gas industry may not make the expected headway unless it imbibes operational excellence, culture of institutionalism, as well as acquire recoverable data and attract funding, stakeholders in the industry have said.
Speaking at the Society of Petroleum Engineering, SPE, conference, in Lagos, Mr. Ifeanyi Nwagbogu, Managing Director, MD, Schlumberger Limited, a leading oil services company, who was represented by Mr. Dele Aikhionhare, Director, National Content, Schlumberger, West Africa Oilfield services, said that operational excellence is all about building processes and sustaining such processes.
Nwagbogu also identified unavailability of reliable data as drawback to achieving effectiveness in the industry.
He stated: “The key issue is data. Without data, we can do nothing and the companies that have succeeded worked with data that is discoverable.
“We need to imbibe the culture of institutionalism. It is a shame there is no corporate governance. If you do not have corporate governance, you cannot attract the real money you need to grow your companies. You cannot build corporate organisations in a situation where one man signs every document, cheque, etc. And when he is not around, the company comes to a standstill. It is a clear fact.
“You need to devolve power to the functions within the organisation. You have a supply chain function. The supply – chain function should be able to tell the CEO, no, as the case may be. It is difficult in Nigeria, but that is something we should try to achieve.”
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development Management Board, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, who was represented by Mr. Tunde Adelana, a director, said that real transformation can only be achieved with the full participation of Nigerians.
“No matter the strive we make in the African petroleum industry, true transformation and progress can only be achieved if there is a deliberate participation and engagement of local manpower. That is local content. Similarly, government as a regulator must show exemplary execution of its mandate by serving as enabler of growth, instead of a purveyor of bureaucratic bottlenecks. By so doing, government helps to position the oil industry for operational excellence,” he said.
For Chima Njoku, General Manager, West Assets, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, inadequate funding is one of the major challenges facing the industry in Nigeria.
“For independent operators, finance is a major challenge. One way of resolving some of these is by going into mergers. There are so many independents producing little oil. If they can merge, they can rival Exxonmobil. They can rival Total, they can rival Chevron. By so doing, the cost of financing will reduce. There is a bit of a challenge here, because each entity wants to run its own show,” he said.