4 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The domestication of activities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will boost the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said.
The Vice President and Chairman, Business Education Services and Training Board (BEST) of the Chamber, Mr. Adams Idufueko, disclosed this while speaking on the need for SMEs to become active major players in the oil and gas industry at a Nigerian Content Seminar organised by LCCI.
He said SMEs employ over 60 per cent of the total labour force in developed countries, and that Nigeria must target this figure in its aspiration to become one of the big economies in the world.
According to him, SMEs have been declining over the last decades because agribusiness and oil and gas do not involve SMEs.
“Oil and gas, which accounts for over 80 per cent of our total foreign exchange earnings and our Gross Domestic Products employs only less than 5 per cent from our labour market according to the year 2010 figures,” he said.
He added: “Over 80 per cent of the total expenses in this sector, estimated at about N3 trillion of our GDP, employed less than 5 per cent from our labour market last year. Over 80 per cent of the total expenses in this sector, estimated at about N3 trillion is exported overseas to suppliers as payment for the import of most of the inputs into the industry” .
He therefore called on some of its members who were already active in both upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas sector to make greater use of the SMEs for sourcing their inputs, both human and material.