Expert charges Nigeria and operators of oil sector on local content

Dec 13, 2004 01:00 AM

For the oil sector to make its impact on the economic development of Nigeria, Federal Government with the collaboration of the oil companies should remarkably raise the local content in the sector.
Professor Pat Utomi of the Pan African University said that the impact of the oil sector on the economy and the Nigerian people lies substantially on how much local content it can create. Utomi made the observation while delivering a keynote address as the guest speaker at the 2004 luncheon party of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association (UNAA), Warri branch, held at ChevronTexaco Club in Warri.

A statement issued by UNAA Warri branch and signed by its Publicity Secretary, Charles Ikedikwa Soeze, noted that Utomi emphasized that local content development should affect the entire spectrum of the industry spanning input supplies by indigenous companies to facilitating joint venture efforts between foreign firms that have expertise on sophisticated services.
Utomi who spoke through the Business Manager of Platinum Bank, Effurun branch, Mr Femi Shadamoro, challenged operators of the oil sector to encourage true entrepreneurship, a culture of deferred gratification, and a determination on the part of the entrepreneurs to build competencies in specific areas. According him, it would be beneficial to both parties because of cost reduction as well as create jobs and skills in Nigeria and make wealth for the entrepreneurs.

He said that local content experience does not mean an increase in elite rent seeking where people with access go for pieces of paper to supply this or that without adding any real value. He noted that the sectoral operations which are increasingly moving offshore, is almost disconnected from the Nigerian economy except for royalties and taxes that go to government.
In his words, "Even financing is almost exclusively foreign. While we acknowledge the absence of financial deepening in Nigeria, an effort to encourage syndications in which Nigerian financial institutions play a role is important. Business must see a reason to promote real democracy and caring governments."

Similarly, UNAA President Warri branch, Engr. Alex Amaeshi of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Warri called on the universities administrators to be prudent and transparent, and honest in the administration of universities in the country in order to restore their old enviable status.
He lamented the insecurity in campuses of various universities across the country as well as indiscipline among the rank and file of the universities system. Universities workers are as well involved in the illegal activities on campus. Therefore, he called on alumni associations of various universities to help in physical and non-physical developments of the universities across the country.

Chief Chidube Anichebe who stood in for Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue while unveiling the alumni centre, said the need for the centre is long over due. On completion, the alumni centre will provide a place for social interaction among members in Warri and environs, he added.
Consequently, he appealed to members of the UNAA to work in partnership with one another to ensure speedy take off of the project.

Source: Vanguard Media
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