The Deputy Governor of the State, Rt. Real Admiral John Jonah announced this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Wednesday while closing the hugely successful conference.
He recalled that crude oil was first discovered in Nigeria in 1956 by Shell D’ Arcy Petroleum, in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, a historical fact that made it imperative for stakeholders to gather in the state every year to discuss the state of the industry and how to ensure greater benefits for all and sundry.
Earlier in his address at the opening ceremony on Tuesday, Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Henry Serieke Dickson canvassed for the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act to benefit indigenes of the oil bearing communities.
While identifying with the aspirations of the Act and the successes recorded so far by the Board, Dickson argued for greater focus of the implementation on the oil bearing communities and their indigenes.
The Governor regretted that many indigenes of oil bearing communities were not actively involved in the ownership and operatorship of service companies, a scenario, which he argued had left the communities underdeveloped and the populace impoverished.
He challenged the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board and other stakeholders to come up with targeted programmes that will mainstream and grow indigenes of the communities in the service end of the industry.
Already, the Board has initiated steps to draw up a Memorandum of Understanding that will spell out modalities and responsibilities between itself, the Bayelsa State Government and NCI-the conference owners towards organising the event annually in Yenagoa.
The 2012 Conference, which ended with a visit to the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources in Ogbele, Rivers State on Thursday was attended by over 600 delegates across two days and took presentations from more than 20 experts in diverse fields of the industry operations.
Some of the speakers included Former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Engr. Funsho Kupolokun, the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Osten Oluronsola, Special Adviser to the President on Technical Matters and Secretary Sure-P, Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo and Managing Director, UBA Capital, Wale Shonibare.
Other included the Executive Director, Corporate Banking and Lagos-West Businesses, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, Executive Director, Onome Seawolf, Remi Okunlola, Managing Director, Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc, Dr Layi Fatona and Executive Director, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, .Dr Kingsley Ojoh.
An additional 300 Bayelsa youths attended a capacity building workshop organised by the Board and NCI on the opening day of the conference.
Importantly, the conference set the record of attracting all the top officials of the oil and gas industry, who included the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa who represented the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu.
Other dignitaries at the event included the Managing Director Exxonmobil, Mr. Mark Ward, the Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Andrew Fawthrop and the Managing Director of Total E &P, Mr. Guy Maurice.
The Managing Director of SNEPCO Mr. Chike Onyejekwe, Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Mr. Ciro Pagano, Managing Director, Addax Petroleum, Mr. Cornelis Zegelaar and chief executives of multinationals and local service companies were also in attendance.