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Minister changes gear on foreign coach

LogoDaily Independent Online.         * Thursday, March 25, 2004.

Oil industry gets deadline on local content

By Bassey Udo

Snr Correspondent, Abuja


Operators of Nigeria’s oil industry have been given up to 2007 to achieve 45 per cent local content in their activities and reach 70 per cent latest by 2010.

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Funso Kupolokun, disclosed this Wednesday in Abuja at a two-day stakeholders seminar on the sector.

It was organised by Africa Energy Limited to afford Nigerians the opportunity of suggesting inputs to the proposed Nigerian Content Development Bill sponsored by a member of the House of Representatives,  Chudi Offodile.

To achieve the deadline, Kupolokun said NNPC is considering establishing local content departments in all its subsidiaries to collate information on industry local content performance, particularly through the activities of multinational Joint Venture Operators and Production Sharing Contract (PSC) partners.

Although he stressed the importance the government attaches to the participation of Nigerians in the industry, he stated that meeting the deadline would be difficult unless Nigerians are encouraged to invest in identified business areas through the formulation of appropriate policies.

Kupoloku traced the origin of government efforts to raise awareness on local content to the setting up of the National Committee on Local Content in 2001, which was mandated to review all existing documents on the issue and fashion policy statements  and a draft bill. Its report provided the basis for a study last year by a Norwegian company in partnership with the government.

The findings confirmed scant local participation in the upstream sector and its limited contribution to manufacturing industries compared to what obtains in contemporary countries such as Brazil, Norway, Indonesia and Malaysia, which have attained as high as 45 per cent level or more, against Nigeria’s five per cent.

The reports identified impediments to local content development to include inadequate and incoherent policies and legislations; low technological capacity; inadequate infrastructure; limited funding avenues; harsh business environment; non-competitive business structure of indigenous companies, and bureaucracy and credibility issues.






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