Ezek­we­sili con­demns dis­cre­tionary award of oil blocks

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - By Rose­line Okere

FOR­MER Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, Dr. Oby Ezek­we­sili, has de­nounced dis­cre­tionary al­lo­ca­tion of oil blocks in the coun­try, say­ing it gives rise to mas­sive cor­rup­tion in the sec­tor.

She said proper poli­cies need to be put in place in the oil and gas sec­tor to avoid po­lit­i­cal sen­ti­ments in the award of oil blocks in the coun­try. Ezek­we­sili, who spoke yes­ter­day at the Oil & Gas Train­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (OGTAN) na­tional ed­u­ca­tional sum­mit in La­gos, em­pha­sised the need for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to de­vel­op­ment hu­man cap­i­tal, say­ing that the con­tin­u­ous de­pen­dence on oil and gas will not take Nige­ria to its an­tic­i­pated state of de­vel­op­ment.

She said no mat­ter what quan­tity of oil and gas de­posit in Nige­ria with­out de­vel­op­ing hu­man ca­pac­ity and lo­cal con­tent, the coun­try might as well be head­ing for a col­lapse.

Also, Group Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, rep­re­sented by Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Nige­rian En­gi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy Com­pany (NETCO), Mr. Siky Aliyu, urged for col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween academia and the in­dus­try on re­searches to at­tract in­vest­ments into the coun­try.

“Re­searches must be pri­ori­tised to keep up with the de­vel­op­men­tal changes in the world,” he said

He added that de­vel­op­men­tal frame­works that will ad­dress stum­bling blocks to in­vest­ments should also be put in place.

The Nige­rian Con­tent De­vel­op­ment and Mon­i­tor­ing Board’s (NCDMB) Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary, Simbi Wabote, said that with the en­abling frame­work backed with the right leg­isla­tive push, Nige­ria’s econ­omy would be head­ing to­wards meet­ing up with in­ter­na­tional stan­dard.

Ac­cord­ing to him, struc­tures that will en­cour­age ca­pac­ity build­ing, re­search and de­vel­op­ment, pro­vide find­ing and in­cen­tives should be put in place to en­cour­age lo­cal de­vel­op­ment.

He added that the board is pre­par­ing to launch a re­search and de­vel­op­ment fund where academia and in­dus­try prac­ti­tion­ers will be funded to carry out re­searches for de­vel­op­ment of the econ­omy.

“Ac­cess to the fund will be on an in­ter­na­tional stan­dard. And those re­searches will not end on pa­per but will lead to col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween academia and in­dus­try ex­perts,” he said.

OGTAN’S Pres­i­dent, Dr. Afe May­owa in his ad­dress, said the body is work­ing on a cou­ple of projects to en­cour­age re­searches be­tween oil and gas prac­ti­tion­ers and academia.

He listed some of the projects to in­clude cat­e­gori­sa­tion of mem­ber-com­pa­nies in line with in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, is­suance of guide­lines for stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of train­ing es­tab­lish­ment of Na­tional Oc­cu­pa­tion Stan­dard (NOS) in con­junc­tion with the NCDMB, fos­ter­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween reg­u­la­tory bodies, academia and the oil and gas in­dus­try to help close gap be­tween the univer­sity the­ory and the prac­ti­cal of the oil and gas in­dus­try, and oth­ers.

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