Yenagoa, May 18, 2023: The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) said the oil and gas sector was lagging behind agriculture, trade, telecommunication and real estate in development of the economy between 2021 and 2022.
Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, stated this in Yenagoa on Thursday, during the 2023 Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair.
The theme for this year is, ”Catalyst and Fuel for the Industrialisation of Nigeria”.
Wabote urged stakeholders to collaborate to stop the decline in the sector so that oil and gas would contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up to double digits levels similar to other major oil producing countries.
According to him, “this year’s theme reflects the pivotal role the oil and gas industry is expected to play in driving the economic growth and development of Nigeria.
“Of late, the role expected of the oil and gas industry has been dwindling due to missed opportunities as a result of policy inconsistencies, deferred decisions and investments apathy.
“Just to set the context, I will like to draw your attention to the nation’s GDP growth rate between 2021 and 2022 as released by the National Bureau for Statistics.
“Over this period, the growth of the nation’s GDP has been marginal, but the reality is that we need to drive the growth rate to double digits for us to achieve the level of economic advancement that we desire.
“The NBS report noted that the total annual contribution of oil to aggregate GDP in 2022 is 5.67 per cent compared to 7.24 per cent in 2021.
“The oil sector has steadily dropped behind agriculture, trade,
Telecommunications and ICT, and real estate in terms of sectors that contributed the most to Nigeria’s GDP,” he said.
The executive secretary pointed out that Norway had doubled its GDP in the last two years from $171.2 billion to $367 billion with the oil and gas sector contributing about 20 per cent followed by their hydropower.
“Although, Norway is in a different clime from Nigeria, we share some similarities when we look at the huge deposits of natural resources coupled with a skilled labour force and the adoption of new technology that made
Norway a prosperous country during the 20th and 21th centuries.
“It is my belief that the oil and gas sector can serve as the catalyst that will enable us to achieve the desired double-digit GDP growth rate if we are bold and disruptive in our strategy,” he stated.
Speaking further, Wabote said in creating opportunities, the NOGICD Act had sets the minimum targets in 278 services across oil and gas value chain in the schedule.
According to him, he has always referred to the schedule of the NOGICD Act as a compendium of opportunities waiting for any serious investor to tap into.
He further said that beyond the core oil and gas activities related to exploration and production, there are several related activities enable by the industry such as security, insurance, medicals, ICT, legal services, aviation and catering,
“We have therefore, designed NOGOF with the following objectives in mind: Showcase opportunities in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry.
“Provide opportunity for foreign and local investors to build synergies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
“Provide Nigerian companies and prospective investors an opportunity to showcase their capabilities.
“Provide stakeholders with information on upcoming projects to enable Nigerian companies and manufacturers tailor their business development strategies.
“Identify high impact activities with potential for in-country value addition with a five-year outlook to deepen the practice of Nigerian content,” he said.
Wabote reiterated that opportunities driven by policies, guidelines, regulations, and statutes are attractive to investors as there were clarity on the framework governing their business endeavours.
On his part, Gov. Douye Diri, commended the executive secretary for the Oloibiri Museum and also training and retraining of youths and women in Bayelsa.
The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Mr Ebiere Jones, said that the government had done two major programmes for youths to be skilful.
He urged the government to look into the establishment of company that could produce pipelines in Nigeria.
He added that most youths in the state are unemployed and advised the oil firms to create opportunity for them to be trained and be skilful.