The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu recently 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 said 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.”

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.

Continuing, the Minister charged members of the council to deliver on their mandate, stressing that it 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 190million 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.

Speaking further, 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 remarks, 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 said. “The Board will be more involved in applied research to give room for product development and would encourage prototype development of products.

“The Board would be involved as well as encourage commercialization of products or research endeavours. The Board would ensure that every product that is commercialized at the back of oil and gas activities is accepted and utilized.”

The Council which is chaired by the Executive Secretary of NCDM, has other members including Engr. Patrick Olimna, representing the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS); Mr. Uzochi Nwagwu, representing the Petroleum Contractors Trade Section (PCTS); Dr. S.B Ramon Yusuf from the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Mr. Isa Yusuf Maikanma from the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI).

Other members include Dr. John Erinne, representing the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN); Mr. Dele Aikihonbare, representing Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) and Mr. Tandama Adamu Abu from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

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