08 March 2016, Abuja – The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said that the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) had justified its creation and could be allowed to continue with its functions, even after the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) might have been passed.
achikwu, who spoke recently on the sidelines of the 25th Annual Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (OLEF) of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Nigerian Council in Abuja, explained that he thought by now, the place of the PTDF would have been secured by the roles it currently plays in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
The PTDF by its statutory responsibilities provide sector-specific manpower trainings and research opportunities for stakeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Accordingly, the Fund’s mandate is dedicated to building of capacities and capabilities in the country’s oil and gas industry through the development of human capacities, institutional capacities, as well as the promotion of research and acquisition of relevant technologies for use in the sector.
But the minister said while fielding questions in this regards from reporters at the OLEF that: “We are working in collaboration with the national assembly, I am unable to say what the situation of PTDF will be because it (PIB) is still a work in progress but what I do know is that a lot of institutions that have been created are going to be saved and just a few configurations here and there.”
He added: “I am unable to say categorically what the legislatures will do but my push in terms of my suggestion is that the place of PTDF should have come to stay by now and in terms of the independence they have enjoyed to be able to drive what they are doing is critical for the industry and so I would encourage it.”
Kachikwu further clarified his proposal to have expatriates to work for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) vis-à-vis, one of PTDF’s mandates to grow local capacity for the industry.
He said: “I did not say that we are to bring in foreigners to work at the NNPC, we were dealing with a specific branch of the NNPC which is the NPDC which if it is going to compete will compete on a universal level and it cannot play a local Nigerian oil company and want to take part in mainstream oil exploration and production and so far we have not done it right.”
“What I said was that we are going to bring in experienced hands and they could be Nigerians because nothing says that expatriates could bring more values to the table than Nigerians but we are looking at being able to get out of the NNPC box and bring in some set of skills sets,” he added.
- This Day