Dangote Oil Refinery has thrown its weight behind the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to promote the the critical issue of Research and Development (R&D) in the oil and gas sector of the country.
To show its readiness, Dangote Petroleum Refinery was a Platinum sponsor of the 2nd Edition of the NCDMB Research & Development Fair and Conference 2021 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State recently.
Already, Dangote Oil Refinery has selected six graduates across the six geopolitical zones in conjunction with NCDMB to take the MSc and/or Ph.D. programmes at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for Research & Development in Zeolites (ZM5in).
With the theme: ‘Creating Sustainable Collaboration in Research and Development for the Energy Sector, the well-attended conference created a convergence of researchers, industry players, investors, finance enterprises and manufacturing companies to identify patentable or commercially viable products resulting from R&D activities.
The R&D fair afforded Dangote Oil Refinery the opportunity to showcase its 650,000 barrels-per-day single largest train refinery project and what the company has done in terms of Research and Development during the construction of the refinery.
Speaking during his visit to Dangote Oil Refinery exhibition booth at the event, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Wabote, noted the need for companies in the Nigerian oil and gas sector to start nurturing home-grown technology, rather than just being wholesome consumers of other people’s innovations.
Continuing, he said “analysis of global practices of Research and Development revealed that the combined R&D spend of just five countries make up 63.5% of the entire global R&D spend. These five countries USA, China, Japan, Germany, and India were also observed to have accounted for over 50% of the global Gross Domestic Products.
“Africa, on the other hand, accounted for less than one percent (1%) of the global R&D spend while its GDP is only 3% of the global GDP. You will agree with me that there is a nexus between the spending on Research and Development and economic prosperity,” the Executive Secretary added.
Wabote said from time immemorial, R&D always played a crucial role in opening up new chapters of modern life.
In furtherance of the founding vision of the board, he said it established the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council to advise on matters relating to research and development in the oil and gas industry and the Development of the R&D 10-Year Strategic Roadmap.
The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo also called on industry stakeholders and youths across the country to take advantage of the NCDMB R&D centre to bolster adaptation of existing solutions and also come up with new ones to address major challenges in the industry.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the theme for the fair captures stakeholders’ collective commitment to aggressively drive innovation and position the oil industry on the path of an integrated energy sector, where field development and production solutions are sourced through local capabilities.
He emphasized the need for private sector operators to invest in research and development. “It is important, however, to clear up a certain misconception: The funding of research is not the sole responsibility of National Governments; rather, big spenders on research and development globally come from the private sector,” he added.
Beyond financial intervention, he urged the oil and gas industry players to challenge the local academia with its research problems, to ensure the development of homegrown technology and the retention of oil and gas spend in the economy.