NCDMB Earmarks $50m On Research, Development

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……Says Oil, Gas Remain Dominant Amidst Global Push for Cleaner Energy

By Kenechukwu Obiajuru, Yenagoa

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has said that it has commenced the deployment of the $50 million it set aside for research and development. Some of the research products were nearing commercialization.

The Board says its mandate of encouraging the participation of Nigerians in oil and gas sector remains more relevant amidst the global push for cleaner energy.

Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Mr. Simbi Wabote, dropped the highlights at a capacity building workshop for media stakeholders in Port Harcourt, with the theme, ‘Sustaining Nigerian Content amidst Shifting Energy Landscape: The Role of the Media.’

According to him, the choice of gas as Nigeria’s transition energy source was a patriotic one. He noted that oil and gas would remain a dominant source of energy before the 2060 target date for zero carbon emissions, adding that as international players restrain further investments in oil and gas, local players will have opportunities.

Engr. Wabote, who was represented by NCDMB’s director, research, planning and statistics, Mr. Patrick Obah, noted that the quest for alternative and cleaner energy sources was not new as the clamour had been there from the era of coal.

He stated that despite the obvious advantage of oil to coal, most developed countries still run coal fired, power plants, pointing out that it was in Nigeria’s strategic interests to develop its abundant energy resources, especially gas.

Speaking on research and development as a pathway to promoting Nigerian Content implementation, the NCDMB confirmed further that it was pioneering a new era in promoting market and demand driven research domiciled in Nigeria.

Wabote urged the media to assume the role of whistleblowers as it engages in investigative journalism to spotlight any breach of the Nigerian Content Law.

A resource person, Prof Aniefiok Udoudo, who spoke on Retooling Competencies for the Changing Media Landscape urged journalists to brace up and acquaint themselves with requisite skills for the media convergence. Udoudo, who is head of department of linguistics and communications at University of Port Harcourt, observed that the journalist was an indispensable part of the society on whom everyone depends on for enlightenment.

He said that the responsibility of the journalist was enormous and so must constantly learn to be in a position to inform the world. The academic traced the impact of technology on journalism from the invention of printing till date and noted that over the times advancements in technology has often presented challenges to media practitioners.

In his own presentation, director, Emerald Institute Prof Chijioke Nwaozuzu, University of Port Harcourt, examined the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which suffered a 20 year delay in the Nigerian National Assembly, pointing out that the Act’s absence robbed the county of over $50billion worth of investment.

Prof. Nwozuzu observed that the Act was a good starting point and amenable to reviews and amendments adding that no legislation is perfect. According to him, the most important factor was to hope that the legislation would achieve its objective of making the oil and gas deposits to bring economic benefit to Nigerians.

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