By Michael Eboh
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, weekend, stated that the ongoing process of revamping the country’s existing refineries is almost concluded.
Speaking at the 2018 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum, OLEF, organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE, Kachikwu disclosed that efforts aimed at improving the business environment in the petroleum industry, as stated in ‘Big Win 2’ in the ‘Seven Big Win’ document, as started to yield positive.
According to him, the Federal Government have been able to attract investors into the entire petroleum industry value chain.
He said, “Our assiduous refinery drive has resulted in an almost-concluded process that would stimulate the flow of private investments into the revamp of our three refineries.”
“Modular refineries have also successfully garnered traction, with already established modular refinery equipment on their way to the ports of Nigeria. Institutional investors are portraying confidence in the productive engagements we have had with the Niger Delta.”
Also speaking Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, Mr. Aliyu Gusau, called for a coordinated national framework for capacity building in the oil, gas and allied industries that would correct the haphazard implementation of manpower development schemes by various agencies and companies in Nigeria.
Bello, who spoke on perspectives of manpower development at the 2018 Annual Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum hosted by PTDF, stated that currently, there is hardly any agency or company operating in Nigeria that does not have one form of manpower development scheme or the other.
He said, “At the moment, the production of manpower not just for the oil and gas industry is so haphazard. It’s as if all of us in the industry are operating in isolated silos, everybody doing his own thing without any linkage to a coordinated national framework.”
He commended the recent executive order by the president compelling companies and operators in all sectors to patronise Nigerian manpower, as well as one of the 7big wins of the oil and gas industry which prescribes proper and coordinated manpower development.
“More recently I am gladdened by the fact that, the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, NCDMB, has come up with certain guidelines and regulations for all players in the oil and gas industry that we must patronise the joint qualification system before resorting to other sources for their manpower needs, so all these are indications that, we are heading in the right direction,” Aliyu added.
Contributing to the theme of the lecture series, ‘The Nigerian oil industry in a world of changing energy supply: are we prepared?’ Aliyu, who acknowledged the growing consciousness among players in the industry to shift towards a post oil economy, noted that human resource development is critical to the realization of that objective.
He said, “The point I want to make in this respect is that, human resource is the most critical factor in this journey. We cannot even over emphasise the importance of this. We should never forget the fact that, this oil has been underground for millions of years until we had the capacity and competence to harness it”.
He advocated a fundamental shift that will put in place the necessary framework for a post oil economy with the oil and gas industry playing a major role.
The ongoing transition in global energy dynamics he said, is indicative that the world has commenced a journey for a post oil economy that will eventually catch up with us whether we are prepared or not.
“The oil and gas industry is still very crucial for this journey. It is one of the few sectors in the country that is organized enough, that has the resources and the expertise to provide this country with the necessary framework for putting in place a post oil economy.
In fact the discussion about diversification in this country is hinged on the capacity of the oil and gas industry to be able to do this, so we must never forget that,” he explained.