A recent oil & gas training event in Nigeria saw several days of lively debate between participants
Career opportunities, local content and legislative plans dominated discussions at the Five Day MBA in Oil & Gas in Lagos, organised by international oil & gas management training firm, Warren Business Consulting.
During the course, participants – who come from all parts of the local industry – took on the roles of board directors of an E&P company, working through various case studies and exercises to understand the strategic issues facing the firm.
One issue which led to passionate discussion was the Nigerian Content Act (NCA), which was designed to build local capacity, and to maximise the utilisation of Nigerian goods and services.
Expert guest speaker Adebiyi Adeosun presented a paper on the local content law. The intention of the NCA, he said, “is to bring Nigerian jobs back to Nigeria”, pulling together the collective efforts of government, oil companies, service providers and international partners.
But as the discussion showed, there are concerns that the NCA brings its own challenges, including disruption to activities and project cost, as well as schedule impacts. Nonetheless, all agreed it will significantly impact local business and career opportunities.
“It’s highly encouraging to see how committed the course participants are to improving their knowledge of the industry, to take advantage of the opportunities open to them in the future,” said Angus Warren, who has delivered this course around the world for several years and comes to Lagos at least twice a year.
There was also plenty of debate around the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which delegates identified as perhaps the single biggest factor in determining the appetite of E&P companies to invest in Nigeria today.
The bill has been on the books for a number of years and the uncertainty of its passage into law has been acting as a deterrent to investment.
The intention of the bill was to promote investment and ensure a sustainable business environment, by consolidating existing laws and deregulating and liberalising the industry.
“One point we emphasise during the course is that these issues are not unique to Nigeria. All governments, NOCs and even the IOCs have to address the question of local content - attracting foreign investment and technology while providing fair returns to the state, jobs for the local population and the development of local industries”, said Warren.