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GEJ To African Leaders: Embrace Local Content To Economic Growth

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Former President Jonathan has advised African nations, especially
those producing oil and gas, to establish a local content policy as a
means of fast-tracking the development of local technology,
industrialisation and deepening economic growth on the continent.

The ex-President gave this advice on Wednesday in Houston at the 2018
Local Content Conference, taking place on the side-lines of this
year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Texas the United
States.

Jonathan noted that the impact of the local content Act which he
signed into law as a President in the year 2010 has brought about
significant progress in local capacity utilization in the Nigerian oil
and gas industry.

Encouraging other African nations to embrace similar initiative, he said: “I strongly recommend the local content policy for all oil and gas producing African nations because of its
in-country positive impact on the development of local technology,
employment generation and capacity to promote value addition,
industrialisation and overall expansion of the economy.

The former President further described local content policy as “the
missing link in Africa’s search for viable processes and procedures
that would strengthen the continent’s economy across strategic value
chains.”

Jonathan also urged African leaders to prioritise education and
manpower development in order to produce the required workforce that
would galvanise industrialisation. According to him, “African leaders
must pay special attention to manpower development through quality education, training and research in areas of need to give local
content through quality Industrialization, a great push.

For Africa to truly develop in a sustainable manner, leaders must make conscious efforts to ensure that the education curricula of various countries are radically redesigned to produce skills relevant to the economic needs of the 21st century.”

He said also that “Africa needs to build competences and cultivate
knowledgeable manpower that would revolutionize the continent’s
technological advancement. That way, we can control the processes of
exploration and exploitation of resources across the entire value
chain of the petroleum industry and other sectors of the economy.”

Speaking further on the gains of the local content policy to Nigeria,
the former President stated that its successful implementation has
improved local capacity building for upstream and downstream
operations and greatly boosted the push for industrialization in the
country.

He said further: “I believe that Nigeria is utilising the increased application of the local content Act in its oil and gas industry to stimulate investments that will positively transform other sectors of its economy, and create more jobs for the unemployed. I am aware that the mileage already covered and successes recorded in the implementation of the Act in less than a decade have attracted local
and international commendations. It has also excited the interest of
some African countries that are already soliciting for the Nigerian
content policy as a guide.

“By its nature, the local content policy was designed to stimulate
local production and industrialization by leveraging linkages in the
petroleum industry and other sectors of the economy to boost
employment and production.  I will say that the local content Act has
galvanised and transformed the entire oil and gas industry in Nigeria
into a very vibrant sector with enhanced capacities in technological
development, interventions and innovations. I believe that the local
skills, capacities and creativity developed for the oil industry can
easily be adapted in other sectors of the economy such as ICT,
agriculture, transportation, power, health and overall manufacturing.

“We have got to the point where we can safely say that the oil and gas
sector in Nigeria decisively forms the pivot for the acceleration of
the country’s industrial growth. I believe that with consistency and
unwavering commitment in the implementation of the law, the industry will continue to grow and more values can be achieved in the economy.”





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