A Nigerian firm, International Limited, has said it will expend over N98billion ($273million) on strengthening local content and human capacity development in the country, especially in the oil and gas sector.
Speaking with The Guardian in Abuja, Monday, Managing Director of the company, Sunny Eromosele, also urged the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), to focus on bridging the huge gap in local content, especially technological know-how instead of investing in modular refineries.
As part of the investment, to span a 10-year period, Eromosele said Mudiame, an ISO 17025 accredited testing, calibration, and inspection company, is nearing the completion of its Mudiame University, located in Irrua, Esan, Edo State. Its primary focus will be to address human capacity challenges impeding the growth of local content in the oil and gas, and manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
He argued that Nigeria’s core challenge in the area of industry development is not unconnected to human capacity development and technology.
He therefore called on NCDMB, charged with boosting local content development to focus on investing in technology, human capacity and general development rather than investing in refining.
He identified lack of infrastructure and technology to develop local content among the most critical challenges undermining indigenous participation in the oil and gas sector.
“The focus of the NCDMB is to build on human capacity development such that they will be able to prepare ahead of future projects and grow local content in Nigeria, identify areas of deficiencies and play a major role by ensuring that the gap is bridged. This is what they should focus on instead of deviating from their primary responsibility.
“As at today, Nigeria has only about 10 professionals with NDT level three; India has over 10,000. Nigeria only has about 30 trained oil and gas-welding engineers, and less than five welding specialists. Can Nigerians boast of designing and building the refineries? There is a need to invest in laboratories and training centres. These will not only provide support for the oil sector but also help manufacturing industry to grow. As a country we need to invest in people who are able to take major roles in manufacturing to give maximum support to technology enhancement.
“With our eyes kin on quality, we execute various tests required ranging from mechanical destructive test to non-destructive test (NDT), civil test, and chemical analysis. Our wide range of tests with international standard can be readily obtained in Nigeria, instead of going oversees to perform such tests,” Eromosele said.