- Local Content Development Good for Manufacturers – Abazie
The Chairman, Strides Group Limited, Mr Moritz Abazie, has said the development of local content in the nation’s oil and gas industry through adequate investment, training and mentorship will strengthen the manufacturing sector.
Abazie said local content development would enable the manufacturing sector to generate huge employment, fight poverty, create wealth, enhance exports and diversify foreign exchange earnings.
He also called for a more sustainable strategy for local content development in the oil and gas industry.
He made the call while contributing to a panel discussion during the Shell Nigeria Content Development Day Exhibition in Lagos on Wednesday, according to a statement made available to our correspondent on Friday.
With the theme, ‘Made in Nigeria, fit for the future,’ the event provided a platform for interaction between exhibitors, Shell staff/contractors as well as other key industry stakeholders to showcase in-country manufacturing opportunities and competitive local alternatives in the oil and gas sector.
According to Abazie, Nigeria, with a population of over 180 million people, is the biggest market in Africa, and ought to be a strong market for its manufacturing sector.
“When the West African sub-region and other African markets are added, then there is a huge existing market for whatever quality products and services from Nigeria. Unfortunately, this has not been so,” he stated.
The Strides Group boss, who identified capacity building as critical to the development of local content, said there was an urgent need for increased training and mentorship to get more value.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Local content opportunities/challenges in production and maintenance engineering’, he stated that training “should be domesticated to handle issues peculiar to our environment and generate adequate human capital for our oil and gas industry.”
Abazie, who stressed the need for a long-term business vision, said starters in the industry should strive to build capacity to international standards, and facilitate the implementation of total compliance with local content requirements through effective human capacity development strategies in alignment with the Federal Government’s directives and applicable laws.
He said, “For the local content policy to be successful, local content manufacturers must strive to improve capacity in order to achieve a long-term dream. We need to have a clear vision and clear goals; by then, you can structure strategies to accomplish them because you cannot invest in the right human resource capabilities if you do not have a long-term goal.
“The need to build capacity is also necessary because the industry patronises you when you have established.”