NCDMB to establish research centres in four Nigerian Universities

L-R: Dr. Ginah O. Ginah, GM Corporate Communications, NCDMB; Mrs Anna Akpan, Asst. Director Shipping Development NIMASA, and Mr. Anya Njoku, MARAN President at a sensitization seminar on local content development in the shipping, oil and gas logistics operations, in Apapa

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has made known its plans to establish four research centres in Nigeria with focus on oil and gas development.

Dr. Ginah Ginah, the General Manager, Corporate Communications and Coordination of NCDMB, disclosed this at a sensitization seminar organized by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria(MARAN) on local content development in shipping, oil and gas logistics operations.  

The research centres according to Dr. Ginah, will be located in the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Federal University of Technology Minna, Federal University of Technology Akure and one in the Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State.

Ginah said that the initiative was informed by the need to locally develop solutions in the oil and gas sector, which demands very specialized research, a gap he said the Nigerian university system had not been able to fill.

“Research in the Oil and Gas industry is a specialist matter, and seeing the drawbacks in the present university system, we have decided to put these research centres in the premises of those universities.

“They are going to be opened to every Nigerian. Once you let your intention known to us, you have free access to go and do your work, be you a student, a research fellow or a company that is interested in research.

“We feel that that way, the centres will be more focused on the job of the oil and gas industry. Because we are in a hurry, we cannot continue trying to do research forever. We want to start doing the research,” he said.

Ginah noted that with speculations of the crude oil being replaced with new sources of energy in about 20 years from now, it was best to begin to carryout research for new developments.

“…we are saying in about another 20 years oil will no longer be the relevant earner of foreign exchange, so we cannot dwell there for very long.

“The best option is, take as much benefit as can be taken from the oil  and use it to cross over to other industries. That is why the diversification issue should be very paramount in Nigeria.

“We are supposed to be harvesting from the oil now and plow it into other areas, so that by the time the oil finishes we have become giants in other sectors of the economy,” Ginah said.

He added that while the NCDMB was still in discussion with the National Universities Commission (NUC) on the programme, it also enjoined operators in the oil and gas industry to adopt a faculty in any Nigerian University.

He, however, noted that “Most of these IOCs have universities where they have adopted faculties and supporting them with equipment and finance.

“That is an interim initiative until these research centres are ready, when we will then switch and intensify our research.

“Beyond this, we have already told the industry that any issue concerning research in operations or other areas, that they should challenge the Nigerian universities first before thinking of taking such a problem outside the country.  That is also a step to domiciling research in-country.”