Dr Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said the Research and Development Department of the corporation would soon be incorporated as a limited liability company, to sustain its new operational guidelines.
Baru, who was represented by Mr Victor Adeniran, Chief Operating Officer NNPC Ventures, disclosed this in Lagos on Monday at the ongoing Research and Development Fair and Conference, organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
He said that the corporation was looking at improving industry performance through the research department.
The GMD said the unit would intensify its partnerships with research institutions, international oil companies and universities to boost its operations.
He said the unit, under the new operational guidelines, would produce research results to help NNPC in its reservoir detection, enhance oil recovery, well drilling and field development.
Baru also said the research outcomes in the new dispensation would help boost refinery optimisation.
“Our aim is to make the department serve the Sub-Saharan Africa because the R&D will help in the development of intellectual property, innovation and knowledge management, establishment of linkages and capacity building and increased revenue,” he noted.
The GMD said the new responsibility could be facilitated by incorporating the department as a limited liability company to work independently and achieve its objective.
He further disclosed that the NNPC had developed a five-year strategic road map to transform the department.
Baru said that under the plan, the unit would create a dual career path to develop research of international repute, strengthen technology through partnerships and collaboration.
He said that it would also increase presence in solving industry problems and play leading roles in research and development in universities and institutions of higher learning across the country.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, observed that Nigeria’s challenges in research and development had resulted in huge capital flight as major oil companies executed their research activities in their own countries.
Wabote observed that infrastructure gap and inadequate funding had further challenged efforts to boost research activities.
He, however, said with the new policy direction and the recently launched 200 million dollars intervention fund by the board, the Bank of Industry (BoI) would support research effort and boost indigenous company capacities.
He said the board had directed BoI to boost the fund to one billion dollars in the next three years.
Dr Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, assured that the pending bills, which made up the Industry Petroleum Bill ( PIB), would be passed into law in the next six months.
Saraki, who was represented by Sen. Tayo Alasoadura, said that the four pending bills ( IE, Petroleum Industry bill, Petroleum Physical bill and the Host Community bill) had passed through the second readings.
He said that the Senate promised to pass the bills in the next six months, adding that it was working hard to ensure the drafts could see the light of the day.
According to him, “we at the Senate are committed to the support of research and development in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria in enhancing local capacity.
” The 8th Senate is dedicated with the vigour to support grow Nigeria content development and also welcome meaningful contributions from the oil and gas operators.
” Early this year, we passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which is expected to take care of the governance aspect of the industry”.