Nigeria earns $ 300 bn revenue from oil in last 30 years

Oct 21, 2008 02:00 AM

Nigeria's oil and gas sector in the last 30 years generated the sum of $ 300 bn, Minister of State for Petroleum, Odein Ajumogobia, has said. He also said the sector has recorded an exponential annual growth of $ 12 bn in the last five years.
The minister, who disclosed this in Lagos at the 17th edition of the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum, regretted that despite the huge revenue accrued to the country from the industry, it has little to show in terms of enhancing local participation. He said the current level of local participation is below 20 %, which is not enough to propel requisite growth in the oil and gas industry.

This development, according to the minister, means that will be difficult for the nation to meet its set aspiration of 70 % local content in the oil and gas industry by the year 2010. It will be recalled that the Obasanjo Administration had set a target of 40 % and 70 % local content in the industry for 2007 and 2010 respectively. However, the government faltered in its desire to achieve the 40 % of local content last year.
The minister was represented by the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Alhaji Aliyu Sabon Birni. He said government and stakeholders should intervene in order to engender a positive approach to the local content policy.

According to him, such intervention should entail capacity-building through the establishment of vocational institution by the Nigerian Content Fund, investment diversification, activity generation within the industry which will encourage local players, as well as promotion of synergies and alliances among indigenous players.
Speaking on the Niger Delta crisis, he said there is a political dimension to the crisis in the region, adding that the non-implementation of local content policy is responsible for the pervading hunger and poverty in the area. He expressed optimism that following the recent passage of the local content bill by the Senate, all the ills would be amended and Nigerians would actively reapfrom the gains of the oil and gas industry.

Delivering paper a titled "Towards the Achievement of Nigeria Content Development in Exploration and Production" at the forum, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engineer Abubakar Lawal Yar'Adua, regretted that the industry that generates 90 % income has employed less than 20,000 Nigerians. He explained that the development informed government to set up the Nigerian Content Division in the NNPC two years ago.
He said since its inception, the Division has caused significant changes in the industry following the increase in local fabrication and domiciliary engineering services, etc. According to him, the government recently earmarked the sum of $ 350 mm National Content Fund to support local players. He said the government is not resting on its oars as it has continued to pursue aggressive drive to ensure that the local content policy is well-delivered to Nigerians.

The Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu, charged the Federal government to provide the macroeconomic environment that will attract investors into other key sectors of the economy that are supportive of the exploration and production industry. Mr Sunmonu urged the government to tackle the power supply issue seriously. According to him, Nigeria requires additional in-country engineering capability for it to achieve its Nigerian Content Development target.
"We believe other international oil companies and private sector operators are willing to invest in the creation of the required capability. This, I must quickly add, requires time and appropriate funding. It also requires a positive investment outlook in the years to come," he stressed.

Source / Leadership
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