The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi Wabote and the President, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Engr. Bank-Anthony Okoroafor have identified innovation and collaboration among industry stakeholders as key ingredients that would sustain and enable growth of the oil and gas sector.
Wabote made this assertion while delivering the keynote address at the 3rd West African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (WAIPEC) organized by Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
Speaking on the theme “Sustaining oil and gas production through innovation and collaboration”, Wabote stated that innovation enabled the oil sector get to frontiers that were considered impossible in the past. He stressed that a business without innovation might not explore opportunities to collaborate with other businesses for sustainable production and project execution capability.
Stressing the need for collaboration, the NCDMB boss reiterated that the Africa energy map presents huge opportunities for the region but the expected collaboration amongst businesses has been slow so far.
According to him “the hydrocarbon discoveries in the West African region present opportunities for innovation and collaboration across borders to overcome barriers. ECOWAS must remain at the forefront of pulling down these barriers rapidly and double the current $300billion annual trade level across the region on the back of oil and gas discoveries.”
Wabote highlighted the different collaborative approaches the Board has employed in building local capacities in-country and increasing the level of compliance to the NOGICD Act 2010. He said, “We are in collaboration with NIMASA on vessel categorisation and we also have a standing joint committee with the Nigerian Customs Service to deal with those who think they can smuggle vessels into the country through the back door.”
He added that in order to resolve infractions and establish pathway to restitution, the Board engaged the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) respectively, to collaborate on how to address recalcitrant offenders against the NOGICD Act.
In his remarks, Okoroafor underscored the need for strategic collaboration and knowledge sharing between Nigeria and new entrants in the oil and gas market in the region. He stated that players in the industry needed to brainstorm on how to adopt artificial intelligence in the operations of the sector.
Okoroafor said “the need for collaboration cannot be overemphasised especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The oil and gas in Nigeria is over 60 years and a lot of experiences have been gathered over the years. The new entrants into the market do not need to go through the route that Nigeria went and repeat the same mistake. We need to strategically collaborate and share experiences.”