The Scottish Development Investment, SDI recently held a trade mission in Lagos which attracted a number of Scotland-based oil and gas companies desiring to do business with some Nigerian partners. In this interview the SDI’s Regional Manager, Africa, Andrew Monaghan, said his agency is committed to building a bridge aimed at promoting trade and investment between Scotland and Nigeria in the oil and gas industry, amongst other sectors. In this exclusive chat with the Editor of Orient Energy Review Magazine, Peace Obi, Monaghan said that the Scottish companies are not just conversant with Nigerian Content law but are ready to adhere to its tenets.
What’s the significance of today’s event?
The significance of today’s event is that we are bringing a very small representative of Scotland’s oil and gas service companies to Nigeria to encourage trade relations between the two countries.
In other words, we are trying to encourage more Scottish companies involved in oil and gas to come down here, look for Nigerian companies they can partner with to do business and to bring new products and services, skills transfer and training, among others for the Nigerian market and for the people.
Scotland is considered as the home of oil and gas, in terms of expertise, infrastructure and training, what exactly are you bringing to the table?
Well, we have been doing oil and gas for about 40-50 years. Before 1970s, we had no oil and gas industry and we did not know much about the industry. But again, we are perhaps in a fortunate position with Nigeria.
We are a developed nation with Agric and engineering background, which knew nothing about oil and gas prior to the hydrocarbon discovery. And then the intervening period between then and now, we have developed a position where we would like to thank the leading nations and Europe as far as oil and gas is concerned.
We learnt in a hard and the easy ways sometimes. But now, we have the people, the resources, the expertise and the experience. Presently, we have something over 2000 companies in our supply chain, supplying from ship to shoes. And we could share that experience with Nigeria and hope to encourage Nigerian people to trade with us in equitable, fair and profitable way.
Nigeria is particular about her local content law implementation, how ready are these companies to comply with the NOGICD Act?
I live in Ghana at the moment and I travel extensively throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Local Content is unique to each market. However, the concept of local content is actually reasonably similar.
In essence, it is localisation or better still, Nigerianisation, Angolasation, Ghananisation. We are very used to dealing with it. So, we have absolutely no problem with local content whatsoever.
Do you think companies on this trade mission are well informed about the Nigerian Content law and are they ready to adhere to it?
Of course! For my agency – International Business Development of the Scottish government, a lot of the organisations we attract are not involved in the oil and gas. But for those in oil and gas business, we advise them that local content law must be absolutely adhered to. If I may say, this it is not really a message we have to give them because they are well acquainted with it. The fact is that they are perfectly willing to comply with Nigerian Content law.
How do you see Nigerian oil and gas industry?
I think Nigerian government is generally doing a good job. I think they should perhaps try and reach out a little bit more to the oil service nations of this world, including Scotland. I will like to see bridges being made between Nigeria and Scotland. We will certainly like to help in that regard. We will happily build the bridge and would like to see Nigerians use that bridge to come to Scotland.
The world is shifting from fossil fuel to cleaner energy sources, how ready is Scotland in accepting this reality?
Scotland has been known for her oil and gas industry among other things. But we are extremely connected to transforming our industry and economy eventually into renewable energy. And we have one of the most ambitious renewable targets in the world and we are committed to meeting that.
We are currently processing about 80 per cent or so of electricity equivalent from renewable sources in Scotland right. We have extremely ambitious target that we are very committed to. We have for example one of the largest wind farms in Europe. We have one of the largest offshore wind farms in Europe. And we are the pioneers in Marine power which is waves and Tidal. The Scottish government has really turned their hopes, expectations, money and resources on renewable energy. We have for example the European Marine Energy Centre which is pioneering Marine power.
Do you have any particular renewable programme for Africa?
I will have to say no for now because we are searching where the fish are. Nigeria is very much interested in the oil and gas industry expertise. And the oil and gas supply chain, the scales and the products that we can bring. But due to resource limitation, we don’t really have the capacity to look at anything other than that. We are very stretched even trying to cope with what we have at hand.
So, at the moment, we are only investing in the oil and gas and in the immediate future. Nigeria has an abundance of oil and gas, and abundance of needs for power, energy and fuel. And I foresee that you will use the blessings of your fossil fuels – oil and gas even as the bridge into the renewable future.
I think renewables for Nigeria is great aspiration. But I should also hope, Nigeria should be focusing on what she has, which is the ability to transform the economy through oil and gas.