The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, says several years of oil and gas production in Africa has not promoted economic growth on the continent and improved the living condition of the people.
Sylva said though about 15 African countries were producing and exporting crude oil, the citizens had not benefitted maximally from the natural resource either as a result of poor management of proceeds or the failure to domesticate core operations of the industry.
He spoke while declaring open the maiden edition of the African Local Content Roundtable, which ended at the Nigerian Content Tower, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Friday.
The two-day event, with the theme ‘Fostering local content in Africa for Africans,’ was organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in conjunction with the African Petroleum Producers Organisation.
Sylva said, “We all know that decades of hydrocarbon production in Africa have not translated to the desired economic growth in our continent. While over 15 African nations are producing and exporting crude oil, the sad reality is that our people have not benefitted maximally from this natural resource, either because we have not managed the proceeds optimally or we failed to domesticate the core operations of the industry.”
“It is imperative that African oil-producing countries and their companies cooperate closely in developing and sharing capacities and capabilities to optimise the hydrocarbon deposits and achieve economic growth and development.”
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, said the board had established a $50m Nigerian Content Fund as part of its research and development roadmap to deepen local content imperatives and boost the country’s economic growth.