The Federal Government has launched “Project 100”, an initiative to use 100 indigenous companies to strengthen Nigeria’s stand in the oil and gas industry globally sixty years since it discovered oil.
Minster of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu expressed that the move was to reduce the influx of expatriates into the country and check job losses to foreign firms.
He said: “This is to build the capacity of Nigerians. We have been in the oil and gas exploration, production and distribution for over 60 years and some of the real benefits are still monopolised by foreign operators. The time has come to build our own companies. So, we have selected indigenous firms that we can help through financing, business opportunities and promote them to the next level.”
He also stated that the initiative which is being promoted by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB would boost exploration activities by indigenous oil companies and generate additional $40 billion to the nation.
The minister, who averred that it is high time the country led the sector at the international front, submitted that the project would positively impact the nation’s economy through job, wealth creation as well as technology and skill development.
He further mentioned that the intervention concept was to identify, recognize and nurture wholly owned indigenous oil and gas service providers into large-scale players that could made great impact in the economy in terms of employment provision, technology development, wealth creation and other local content indicators.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote speaking on the development noted that the growing local content remained a critical path to the nation’s oil and gas sector adding that the exercise was based on about 80 per cent non-financial imperatives, including policy, capacity building and access to market.