NCDMB, SEPLAT To SetUp Centre of Excellence in Delta State University


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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plchave unfolded plans to set up a world-class Research Centre of Excellence at Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State.

The announcement was made on Thursday during a meeting with the authorities of the university, where the design and implementation framework was unveiled.

At a preliminary consultative session in the Conference Room of the Vice Chancellor, NCDMB’s Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, Alhaji Abdulmalik Halilu, explained that the project was conceived as part of the Board’s core mandate to grow indigenous capacity to drive the Federal Government’s local content development programme. 

According to him, “where the capacity exists, it must be utilisedby all the oil and gas companies whether they are from abroad or indigenous marginal producers.”

Halilu pointed out that one major success pillar for capacity building is research and development and that the Board has established that local content must be implemented in partnership with project promoters. SEPLAT, he noted, are “the promoters of the Sapele Integrated Gas Development Project.”

He said, “On the backdrop of such projects is what we call the Capacity Development Initiative,” which can be either in research development, infrastructure, or human capital. He disclosed that “SEPLAT Plc have in collaboration with NCDMB decided that Delta State University should be a beneficiary of that intervention.” 

Explaining further, he said, “The essence of this intervention is not only to donate the research facility but also to utilise. So in the course of the engagement, you’ll agree on the focus areas in terms of gas development and SEPLAT will be bringing research projects to the Centre.”

On the concept behind the initiative, Halilu assured that NCDMB and SEPLAT would ensure that the Centre they are jointly promoting is connected to “a global research network so that collaborative research could be achieved through partnership.”   

“We also intend to deepen the patent registration of products of research because intellectual property is also very important,” he explained, adding, “the ability for research to transit to market requires some level of protection.”

NCDMB, SEPLAT and the DELSU authorities will be looking at the governance structure in the Centre to ensure functionality and sustainability, while it is also expected that the professors, doctors and others who would be seconded to the Centre also have the capacity to be able to develop research projects that will attract funding.

The Management of SEPLAT, represented at the engagement by Engr. Simeon Ogari, Nigerian Content Manager, Supply Chain Management and Operations, Amaechi Okoronkwo, and Emeka Ezenwa, expressed their desire to have a footprint at Delta State University, pointing out that their company has a major gas plant close to the institution. They said they were very hopeful that the project would be very beneficial to DELSU.

In his response, DELSU’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy O. Egwunyenga, said he was overwhelmed by the gesture of the NCDMB and SEPLAT in choosing his institution for an intervention of such a magnitude. According to him, “This initiative is coming unsolicited,” and that the development speaks volumes of the commitment of the two companies to research and gas development.

The University boss assured that DELSU would do everything possible to ensure the project comes to fruition, even as he pointed out that the institution would need the assistance of the companies to have a building spacious and solid enough as required for the take-off. 

On a tour of two structures on the Site 1 campus of the University by the visiting team and the University Management, it was decided that a section of a newly completed building for the Faculty of Science could be used for the purpose.

On the NCDMB team to DELSU, led by Abdulmalik Halilu, were General Manager, Midstream Monitoring, Mrs. TarsallaTersugh, and Deputy Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed.          



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