The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu on Wednesday in Abuja inaugurated the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council (NCRDC).
The Council is expected to advise the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on matters relating to Research, Development and Innovation strategy for the oil and gas industry.
The council’s terms of reference are to “advise the Board on criteria and methodology for prioritizing market cum demand-driven research projects, advise the Board on the appropriate strategies and governance arrangements to attract funding for research projects and advise the Board on criteria for the award of research grants and review progress on impact of such grants on Research projects, Product development and Innovation.”
Inaugurating the council, Kachikwu commended NCDMB for accomplishing the commitment it made at the 2017 Research and Development Fair. He described the R&D council as a timely innovation that would deepen the achievements recorded in Nigerian Content implementation.
He charged the members to deliver on their mandate, which will help redress the fallings of the oil and gas sector to the Nigerian economy. “After 50 years, we still cannot refine enough petroleum products and we cannot provide enough electricity for our 190 million populace. In the eyes of the general public, oil is failing the country. Some of the bold steps NCDMB is taking, to create research and create focus will internalize growth and development.”
The Minister underlined that NCDMB had transitioned from just being a policy maker to also functioning as a project promoter. He commended the Board for investing in the Waltersmith Modular refinery, developing industrial parks in Bayelsa and Cross River States and catalyzing the partial integration of the Egina FPSO.
Kachikwu added that the NCDMB is focused on increasing Nigerian participation in oil and gas projects and engendering business opportunities locally. “The new NCDMB is more dynamic and focused, to a point where the National Assembly is now considering whether Local Content should be implemented across sectors because of the success we have brought to the oil and gas industry. Even the world, especially African countries have taken notice.”
In his comments, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote explained that the framework of the Board’s research and development provides that all research topics or thematic areas must be based on industry challenge or needs.
He added that “the Board will be more involved in applied research to give room for product development and would encourage prototype development of products.