23 October 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Federal Government has inaugurated the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council, NCRDC, to advise the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, on matters relating to research, development and innovation strategy for the oil and gas industry,
Specifically, the NCRDC is to advise NCDMB on criteria and methodology for prioritising market demand-driven research projects and on appropriate strategies and governance arrangements to attract funding for research projects, product development and innovation. It is also to set out criteria for award of research grants and review progress on impact of such grants on research projects.
Inaugurating the council in Abuja, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, commended NCDMB for accomplishing the commitment it made at the 2017 Research and Development Fair.
Kachikwu described the research and development council as a timely innovation that would deepen the achievements recorded in Nigerian Content implementation.
He charged members of the council to deliver on their mandate, which according to him, will help redress the failings of the oil and gas sector to the Nigerian economy.
“After 50 years, we still cannot refine enough petroleum products and we cannot provide enough electricity for our 190 million populace. In the eyes of the general public, oil is failing the country.
“Some of the bold steps NCDMB is taking, to create research and create focus will internalize growth and development,” he said.
The minister, who said that NCDMB has transitioned from just being a policy maker to also functioning as a project promoter, commended the board for investing in the Waltersmith Modular refinery, developing industrial parks in Bayelsa and Cross River States as well as catalysing the partial integration of the Egina FPSO in-country.
Kachikwu added that NCDMB was focused on increasing Nigerian participation in oil and gas projects and engendering business opportunities locally.
“The new NCDMB is more dynamic and focused, to a point where the National Assembly is now considering whether Local Content should be implemented across sectors because of the success we have brought to the oil and gas industry. Even the world, especially African countries have taken notice.”
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, explained that the framework of the board’s research and development provides that all research topics or thematic areas must be based on industry challenge or needs.
According to him, “The board will be more involved in applied research to give room for product development and would encourage prototype development of products.
“The board would be involved as well as encourage commercialization of products or research endeavors. The Board would ensure that every product that is commercialized at the back of oil and gas activities is accepted and utilized.”
The Nigerian Content Research and Development Council is chaired by the Executive Secretary of NCDMB. Other bodies represented in the council include the Oil Producers Trade Section, Petroleum Contractors Trade Section, National Universities Commission and National Board for Technology Incubation.
Others are the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, Independent Petroleum Producers Group and National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion.