The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has identified strategic partnerships as part of the strategies needed by the industry players to launch Nigeria’s extractive industries into global competitiveness.

The Minister made this known in Abuja during the 6th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference with the theme, “Building Local for Global”. Kachikwu noted that the country’s goal of transiting from local refining and mining to international and global competitiveness may remain elusive if stakeholders neglect strategic partnerships in their operations.

The minister who hinted that several Nigerian companies have the needed capacity in terms of commitment, manpower and equipment to drive the local content policy framework, announced that “CSR-in-Action is one of such organisations which we are happy to partner.” An industry said to be faced with minimal stakeholder engagement, collaboration, as well as the lack of a guiding framework for the management of sustainability in the extractive industries, the Minister said, “Globalising our local economy goes beyond value retention and trade–offs, but rather, strong government demand for local content investment through creation of infrastructural facilities and developing local resources within Nigeria should be of paramount importance.”

Speaking also the Minister of Mines & Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said that government was committed to harnessing and channelling the massive potentials in her citizens for the overall good of the country and her citizenry. “We are in the business of not banning and need to engage the illegal miners to globalise our local economy.”

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Waziri Adio, said: “First, we need to build local for local, then for regional, and then for global.”

The Conference which is one of CSR-in-Action Advocacy’s core intervention programmes is said to be aligned with federal government plans to build local refineries, mines and develop indigenous entrepreneurs to achieve global competitiveness. The conference identified such challenges as Infrastructural failures, lack of regular maintenance on existing infrastructure, lack of local capacity and support for local entrepreneurs in the extractive sector, among others called on government to give immediate attention to the various issues.

In its recommendations, the CSR-in-Action Advocacy called for support for indigenous companies as well as for increased local production, “The right environment, infrastructure, processes and policies must be created to stimulate not only indigenous companies, but industries with strong forward and backward linkages to the extractive industries.

“The strategy for the rehabilitation of existing refineries and construction of new refineries must be clearly delineated. We must identify the challenges within existing refineries, and ensure the rehabilitation process properly caters to same (including the flexibility of shelving elephant projects), and maximises existing resources; including funding, the statement read.

Indicating its willingness to work with corporations to addressed some of the challenges, the conference convener, Mrs. Bekeme Masade, CEO CSR-In -Action said, “CSR-in-Action will through the course of the year, work with interested entities to address some of the challenges highlighted. Even as we embark on this journey, we seek partnerships that can exponentially increase the impact of the work that we are doing, and help us to achieve our collective mission.”

SITEI 2017 was proudly sponsored and supported by Aiteo, Lafarge Cement, Ford Foundation, Access Bank, NNPC, NCDMB, PETAN, NEITI, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Zenera Consulting amongst others.

CSR-in-Action is a conglomerate of 3 sustainability driven businesses; Consulting, Training and Advocacy, with a mission to redefine the sustainability terrain in Africa, through collaborative strategies with stakeholders aimed at attaining higher levels of corporate governance, workplace and sustainable philanthropy.

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