Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva says any country that aspires to achieve rapid and sustainable economic growth must put in place an economic model that enables its human capital to harness its natural resources to create wealth and economic prosperity.
He stated this on Thursday while presenting a keynote address at the First African Local Content Roundtable in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Sylva disclosed that through the implementation of local content, the Federal Government has achieved significant growth in-country value addition from less than 5% in 2010 to 35% in 2021, stating that it has also set an ambitious target to achieve 70% local content in the oil and gas sector by 2027.
He explained that the success story of the government in the nation’s oil and gas industry has led to bold step to extend local content to other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“As a caring African country, we have also considered it necessary to amplify the benefits of local content to our fellow African countries and that is the essence of the African Local Content Roundtable.
“I am delighted that this maiden edition is holding in Bayelsa State, Nigeria which is host to the earliest recorded commercial crude oil discovery and production.
“We must use the opportunity of this RoundTable to initiate conversations around Local Content, share success stories, challenges and come up with policies that would deepen local participation and domiciliation in our respective countries.
“I commend the NCDMB for initiating this Roundtable. By this effort, you have set the pace as the premier Local Content regulator in Africa and a worthy example to sister nations that seek guidance to institutionalize Local Content practices in their jurisdictions.
“The objective of this pan-African Roundtable is to institutionalize peer review mechanism among Oil-producing countries on local content as a key development imperative for domestication and sustainable growth of Africa’s hydrocarbon resources.
“I look forward to an actionable outcomes from this Roundtable and I earnestly hope it would contribute towards increased regional collaboration and development of Africa’s hydrocarbon industry”, he said.
The Minister also opined that it is important for African oil-producing countries and their companies to work closely in developing and sharing capacities and capabilities to optimize the hydrocarbon deposits and achieve economic growth and development.
His words: “We must take firm decisions and develop policies and projects that would position our industry competitively and sustain our economy under the emerging energy transition.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria took firm steps in this regard very recently, funding two strategic energy projects in the country. A 10,000 tons per day methanol plant and 500 million standard cubic feet per day gas processing plant in Brass, Bayelsa State and the Ammonia and Fertilizer plant in Akwa Ibom State.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote said for any sustainable local content practice, there are five key parameters required to be in place which are; Regulatory Framework, Gap Analysis, Capacity Building, Funding & Incentives, and Research and Development.
He explained that local content is not about nationalization but domiciliation and domestication for local value addition which needs foreigners and foreign direct investment to thrive.
“We have decided to change these bi-lateral engagements to a bigger roundtable involving more African countries where we can rub minds and agree key actions to drive the growth of Local Content in Africa”, Wabote said.