10 December 2013, Lagos – Stakeholders in the oil, gas and maritime sectors have stressed that for Nigerians to actively participate in the industries, a deliberate policy on massive investment in human capital development would be critical.
The experts, who gathered at a recent forum, which deliberated on “Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry,” also noted that indigenous operators in the industry were still at a disadvantage compared to their foreign counterparts in ship management, vessel operations, and offshore logistics.
The stakeholders at a workshop organised by the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping and Richardson Oil & Gas Limited canvassed for regular training, saying this is necessary to provide indigenous operators a better understanding of contracts and investment opportunities in the sector.
Speaking at the workshop held in Lagos, the Director General of Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mrs. Ify Anazonwu-Akerele, said such programme would ensure impartation of technological skill, huge maritime infrastructural development, improvement, maintenance, as well as strengthening of administrative structures.
She said it would also ensure full and unfettered implementation of the cabotage regimes, closer monitoring of the activities of port/terminal operators and also encourage them to employ better technologies.
According to her, the recently passed Local Content Law has the potential of ensuring effective indigenous participation by guaranteeing cargo contracts that will stimulate tonnage building, financing and key developmental actions to the Nigerian maritime industry.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Richardson Oil & Gas, Mr. Akin Osuntoki, noted that both organisations partnered the sole aim of bridging the knowledge gap within the maritime and the upstream oil and gas sector, through the provisioning of professional human capital development programmes.
Speaking on the workshop theme, “Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry (Upstream)”, he said it was a training programme held every quarter of the year.
“It is designed to expose a more practical, thorough and in-depth technical and commercial understanding and approach to vessel operations from the Cabotage and Local Content perspective, which will eventually lead to a good understanding of international best practices as well as improve local participation in the upstream sector”, he said.
“Either as an indigenous operator who wants to finance the acquisition of offshore vessels, have an understanding of vessel/offshore equipment inspections and surveys, understand the litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes in this sector, have a grasp of the fundamental technical and commercial knowledge of the maritime/upstream oil and gas business, appreciate environmental issues in upstream operations, comprehend ship management and deal confidently with the International Oil Companies, participants always find the course very comprehensive and valuable”, Osuntoki added.
– Ejiofor Alike, This Day