Speaking in Lagos, Ekon expressed disappointment that after many decades of operation in the country, the research-based international oil companies, including Halli-burton and Schlumberger, have only a piece of land in Port Harcourt, describing the development as a mockery.
The IOCs have research and development centres in countries, such as India, and Malaysia that don’t have the volume of oil Nigeria has.
“Does it make any sense for the IOCs to tell us that after 52 years of being in Nigeria, they only have a piece of land in the University of Port Harcourt, while they have built R&D centres in India and Malaysia that do not have the quantum of oil Nigeria has?
“So, they need to also help us develop one here, that will also take care of Sub-Sahara need. We should stop talking. We should practise what we are talking about,”Ekon said.
Ekon said the Local Content Board is in the mission of collaborating with the IOCs and other services’ providers to get research and development centre built in the country. ‘’We are going into a private discussion with them and, hopefully, we will come out with an idea.’’
“I told them that they need to establish themselves as regulators, not somebody that will go beggarly to the majors. We don’t beg; as regulators, there are certain things that they can do, and people will respect you and do your bidding. There are a lot of things that could be done to cause this to happen, so I believe that we are going to work together,’’ he stated.
He was confident that with the leadership of the present local content board, in the next one year efforts towards realising this objective would have had visible implementation.
“By next year, I want to see something concrete. I want us to translate all those visions, ideas, into reality and I believe that with the people in the content board we are going to see something tangible in the next one year.
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