NNPC Assures Local Tech Firms Adequate Support

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By Dipo Olowookere

Companies in the country which focus on technology have been assured of the needed support to enable them grow bigger.

This assurance was given by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during the 47th Conference and Annual General Meeting of Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Maikanti Baru, said the state-owned oil agency will promote the development and commercialization of home-grown technology in collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

He noted that the effort would be driven by the Research and Development (R&D) arm of the corporation.

Throwing more light on the plan, Mr Baru said the collaborative effort with the NCDMB was already manifesting with the joint establishment of research clusters that will specialize in different areas of the oil and gas activities.

The GMD declared that Nigeria was in dare need of urgently clawing back, from foreign yards, most fabrication works and other services in the industry to boost the contribution of the industry to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The new operating philosophy should lay emphasis on in-country manufacturing, job creation, skills development, technology development, capital retention, research and development and fostering sectorial linkages with other critical sectors of the economy in order to drive industrialization,” he said.

The theme of his paper at the occasion was Nigerian Content Development: Catalyst for Industrialisation.

The GMD revealed that the corporation was currently in collaboration with NCDMB with a view to aligning the Nigerian Petroleum Exchange, NipeX portal and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System, NOGICJQS portal, to adequately capture the capacity of local companies.

Mr Baru called for a closer examination of the compliance level of the extant legislation and policy on Nigerian Content to evolve new models that would shape the policy and legislation on the subject in many areas.

Some of the areas include: fiscal incentives to attract foreign direct investment, access to credit facilities among others.

Highlight of the conference was the conferment of Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers on Mr Baru.

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