How can we harness Local Content potentials in the oil and gas industry?

Exclusively, Agriculture despite various attempts by the government to revive its mainstay in our economy but still cannot overshadow the dominant role of the oil and gas industry in economy. From the oil prospecting in 1937 with the Shell petroleum industry, up to 1979 when we attained the rank of the sixth major oil producer in the world till date.

However, it is an established fact that the oil and gas industry stands out in the economic and industrial development of Nigeria cobbled with the recent Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act which only makes it even more prominent.

Therefore, we can bluntly say that the propaganda of the local content policy which is fundamental to the developmental growth of the oil and gas industry is the signing into law by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR) in March 2010, a Nigerian Local Content Act (NLCA) which aimed at promoting industrialization of the nation’s oil and gas industries, thereby improving the economic and social wellbeing of citizens.
The Nigerian Oil and Gas Development Law 2010 defines local content as, “the quantum of composite value created in Nigeria through utilization of Nigerian resources and services in the petroleum industry resulting in the development of indigenous capability without compromising quality, health, safety and environmental standards”.

It is framed within the context of Nigerian’s growth in entrepreneurship and in the domestication of assets to fully realize Nigeria’s economic and industrial development goals.

Hence, the extract from the NLCA authorizes the Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies procure goods manufactured in Nigeria and services provided only by Nigerians.Thereby, facilitating the ‘MADE IN NIGERIA’ in-country value focus.

According to what Odularu (2008) states, ‘the activities of the petroleum industry can be divided into two broad categories; upstream and downstream’.

Furthermore, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act No 16 of 1995 (NIPC Act) futher describes the upstream operation as all operations necessary to separate gas from the reservoir into usable form at utilization or designated custody transfer points either through pipelines or tankers, as this operation is to help reduce or completely eliminate gas flaring.

In line with this, the NIPC Act described ‘the downstream operations as the marketing and distribution of gas for domestic and industrial uses which are basically economic activities involving power generation, petrochemical industries like plastics, dyes etc, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)’.

However, the conception of the Engina project for Total has now become the first to record the fabrication and integration of the Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) topsides in in Nigeria is a glaring example of the NLC Acts in actualisation.

Also, this goes to show how unsuccessful the NLC Act has proven to be since its enactment. Thereby making it evident that the NLCA still has a long way to go to its full actualisation. Also, it goes a long way to emphasize on how the NLC Act has been successful since its enactment. Making it obvious that the NLCA still has a long way to go before its full actualisation.

In order to actualise this Act, how can we properly utilize and control the local content potentials in the oil and gas industry for the industrial and economic development of our country?
The oil and gas industry is a Nigerian based natural resources and gift. The local content which aims at making Nigerians utilise their God-given potentials in the oil and gas industry for the economic and industrial growth and develpment of the country.

Although , the Federal Government establishment of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board created a platform for consistent supervision and monitoring of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrial excapades in the achievement of the Local Content Policy.

Apparently, the challenges we face here is that the Nigerians still find it almost impossible to work on their own and adequately utilise their own resources, of which according to them is inferior and unreliable for such BIG task. They would prefer to rather use foreign machineries, and foreign engineers than to use their ‘own Sons of the Soil’ to make better products or output.

Unkown to them, they are all the man-power ever needed. We have all the wonderful potentials for a good job. We can provide all the satisfactory services needed and with the abundance of the natural resources around us. We should therefore be willing to work not complain about our inadequacies and short-comings and focus on what can achieve together.

True, the NLC Act has been enacted for the growth and development of the Oil and Gas Industry and for the good and benefits of Nigeria. But recently, we can neither seem to actualise it nor fully implement it, because we, the Nigerians have refused to give it a chance.

Maybe because we are scared of our own shortcomings, or maybe because we already picture how it will cause a ‘great loss’ for the economy if we failed. A loss we cannot afford because so much will be at risk. Little do we know the ‘great loss’ we are already bearing for not trying. Thereby refusing to give it a chance to be materialized.

Some Nigerians are either ignorant of this fact while the others are simply not willing to go the extra mile. Nobody wants to sscrifice. Nobody wants to suffer. Which is exactly what is killing us in this country.

We have all the keys to our puzzles, are we willing to apply the answers? Are we willing to risk it? Life itself is a risk but this time around we need to cease this opportunity to revitalise our industries for the economic growth of our country at large.

In order to correct our lapses and move to greater heights, we, the indeginous Nigerians should endeavour to participate actively in workshops, seminars, conferences that enlightens on these issues affecting our industrial and the economic growth and development.

The Nigerian oil and gas industry has been in the picture of the Nigerian economy playing a major role in the growth and development of the country for years now, and its high time we step in. We have to give it all we got for the better ouputs. We have to fall into key with the set policies which will be for our own benefits.

No wonder Eileen Shaiyen applauded saying, “the Executive Order on Local Content is the most unique decisions the recent government has made since its inception and it will be far better if the Executive Order can be implemented on the Ministries, Departments and Agencies”. That is simply the only way forward if we are willing to work to make it a dream come true.

Basically the NLCA in line with the oil and gas industry alleviates the growth and development prompting the following benefits like: reduced rate of poverty in the country, employment opportunities for Nigerians, improvement of our educational standards, generation of high revenues for the government, increase in naira value and low prices of goods and services, adequate power supplies, improved standard of living for an average Nigerian, outstanding project management and provision of employment opportunities for her citizens.
The availability of man-power for industrial purposes and also the creation of job opportunities for any Nigerians.

These benefits will definitely be evident in the transformation system if the NLC Act is properly implemented.
The primary contribution of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria’s economy is the generation of revenues for government through the importing and exporting.
When the economical system is balanced there will be a definite reduction in the prices of goods and the cost of production will also be affected by this change. Resulting to an increase in the value of naira notes and low cost of commodities in Nigeria.
Adequate power supplies; the improved power supplies is of great importance to the growth and development of the oil and gas industry as it will facilitates the smoothe running of the machines. Resulting to, an improved standard of living for an average Nigerian and thus, providing a promising future for the next generation in Nigeria.

Moreover, some of the benefits of the Nigeria oil and gas industry we are already enjoying therefore, the economic and industrial development of this country cannot be over esteemated, as it provides the extra force needed in the entire economy. Amongst which the 80% of the Nigeria’s economy improves daily on the account of the oil and gas industry from the hard currency earnings through exportation.

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