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Experts advise optimising local content for energy security

Experts advise optimising local content for energy security

Stakeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector have been advised to optimise local content opportunities to ensure fulfilling energy needs and energy security as the country progresses in its energy transition journey.

This was discussed during a plenary session on ‘Exploring emerging opportunities for local content in achieving energy security’ at the ongoing NOG energy week conference and exhibition on Monday in Abuja.

Ayotola Jagun, CCO/company secretary, Oando Plc, said a robust strategy was already in place in Nigeria’s energy transition journey, adding, however, that the current draft does not provide scope for direction.

“There is a lot of pressure on the sector to move away from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy sources; as a country, there are so many things to consider if we are to develop; we need to do more in securing our energy needs and security,” she said.

Jagun said there was a need to build capacity locally and also integrate clean energy education to drive faster adoption, however, not at the expense of the country’s industrialisation.

“While we have to focus on energy transition, we must ensure skills are developed to ensure that Nigeria is not left behind; technology in the renewable industry is fast-paced and requires Nigeria to catch up as fast as possible,” she added.

Speaking from the manufacturers’ point of view, George Onafowokan, managing director, Coleman Cables & Wires said there was an unfair perception of Nigerian manufacturers by oil and gas operators, adding that breaking into the sector as a service provider has high entry requirements.

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He added that although there has been support from the NCDMB to drive local content in the sector, synchronisation between related government agencies in the sector were not aligned, which was also a barrier.

Onafowokan said his company offers a five-year window not to recover any money when delving into oil and gas investments, stating that on average, it takes two years to establish the investment and another three years to convince oil and gas players to buy into the idea even though the NCDMB has to push them to accept it.

“We cannot drive investment in this country if we are of the thought process that it has failed before it started, you can either believe that local content is real or not, we need to deliberately push businesses,” he said.

Wale Fayemi, country adviser, Multi Energies, TotalEnergies, said the country has witnessed an increase in energy demand which will continue, especially as the population continues to increase.

He noted that the energy sector will continue to grow, hence all actors must recognise available huge opportunities.

Simbi Wabote, executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), said as a regulator, the board was expected to supervise, coordinate, administer, monitor, and manage the development of Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry.

“We have given effect to this provision by launching the 10-Year Strategic Roadmap in 2018 to drive the attainment of 70 percent Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry by 2027,” he said

Wabote noted that in the last five years of implementing the strategic roadmap, the board has grown the level of Nigerian content in the industry from 26 percent in 2017 to 54 percent in 2022.

“As at the end of June 2023, we have 290,000 individual records, 10,400 service company records, 107 operator company records, and about 600 marine vessel records contained on the JQS portal,” he said.