International Petroleum Week 2015
10–12 February 2015
InterContinental Park Lane London
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A win-win situation
By retaining crucial resources, building
capacity, and developing skills and effciency in the country, Nigeria is ensuring that it
becomes the hub for oil and gas fabrication,
engineering, design, repairs, and maintenance work for the Gulf of Guinea.
This frst wave of successful local investment and ownership of critical infrastructure
will attract a new cadre of high quality, long-term foreign companies and investors, who
recognize that Nigeria is fulflling its potential.
The enhanced infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities which the Local Content Act
has empowered the Nigerian private sector
to create is an advantage to multinationals in
the oil and gas and offshore industries looking to operate in West Africa. The pressure
is on to develop enough highly skilled indigenous workers to enable these companies to
set up easily and to operate without compromising effciency and cost while relying on
local facilities and infrastructure.
The sustainability and rapid growth also
depends on the effective alignment of pri-
vate Nigerian, private international, and gov-
ernment interests, which are now aligning
in this sector for the frst time.
Another example of the Nigerian government’s commitment to achieving such alignment is its support of Free Zones, which are
under the management of a new managing
director, Gbenga Kuye, previously a banker,
who has a government mandate to overhaul
Free Zones and to make them havens for attracting foreign investment.
Securing local and international private investment also requires that the local facilities
and infrastructure are run in partnership with
international technical partners. The highest
profle partnership is LADOL with Samsung,
and several others are in the pipeline.
Nigeria is already seeing the benefts of
this new cross-border alignment of public
and private sector interests, with Shell recently saying that Nigeria could soon be its
highest spend area in the world, with potential investments of $40 billion.
A bright offshore future
The Local Content Act comes with chal-
lenges, as does every signifcant change in
governance and business practices. Having
suffcient domestic human resources to staff
the nascent oil and gas industry requires the
training and up skilling of tens of thousands
of workers in the country. This will cost both
time and money in the short term, and some
people will question whether this is a beneft
when work can be outsourced relatively easily.
The real beneft of this domestic investment
and development model will come in the me-
dium to long term – both for Nigeria’s oil and
gas industry and the multinational companies
looking to operating in it – when human and
industrial capacity is in place in Nigeria, and
when the return on investment for all stake-
holders increases by several multiples. The
long-term economic impact will be felt across
all sectors of the local economy, improving the
quality of life for locals and foreigners in Nige-
ria and West Africa. Soon, there are expected
to be an increasing number of successful do-
mestic companies operating across the region.
A stable and wealthy Nigeria will also be a
boon to the global economy, with the evident
commercial benefts of the more than 100 mil-
lion consumers in Nigeria alone, as well as the
likely positive impact that will fow to Nigeria’s
neighboring countries which take their cue
from and are heavily infuenced by Nigeria.
Nigeria has always had huge potential and
largely untapped wealth. With the local private
sector now empowered by the government to
deploy that wealth, it is clear that the benefts
will fow not only to Nigerians but also to the
entire West African region and the world. •