The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru has called for more collaboration between the academia and oil and gas industry on research to attract investments into country.
Baru, made the call at the 1st National Education Summit organised by the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) in Lagos Monday.
The GMD who was represented by Mr Silky Aliyu, the Managing Director, Nigeria Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), stressed the need for the country to develop and adopt research and development structure that will create opportunities in the industry through risk reduction and production cost.
Baru promised to collaborate with OGTAN to accelerate skills development in the industry in order to keep pace with global changing environment.
According to him, research must be priotised in order to keep up with the developmental changes in the world.
In her remarks, the former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili said that continuous depending on oil and gas will not take Nigeria to its anticipated state of development.
According to her, without development of human capital and local content, Nigeria’s vast natural resources would amount to nothing when put at par with developed countries of the world.
“It does not matter what quantity of oil and gas and minerals still existing in our grounds, without developing human capacity and local content, we might as well as we are heading for collapse”.
“The oil and gas is a means to an end. The end is about the development of human capital.
Ezekwesili said that discretionary allocation of oil blocks gave rise to “massive” corruption in Nigeria.
“The discretionary allocation of oil blocks led to massive and grand corruption in Nigeria.
“So to this end, we entrenched the system of licensensing and marginal fields allocation in order to encourage local players.
“But I guess politicians assumed marginal fields and would be distributed to them without due process,’’ she said.
According to Ezekwesili, right policies need to be put in place in the oil and gas sector to avoid political sentiments.