Dangote Petroleum Refinery will collaborate with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), to promote Research and Development (R&D) in the country’s oil and gas sector.
To this end, Dangote Refinery was a Platinum sponsor at the 2nd Edition of Edition of the NCDMB Research & Development Fair and Conference 2021, which ended recently in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State recently.
Already, the Refinery has selected six graduates across the six geopolitical zones in conjunction with NCDMB to take the MSc and/or PhD programmes at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for Research & Development in Zeolites ZM5in, the Dangote Group said in a statement on Monday.
Themed: ‘Creating Sustainable Collaboration in Research and Development for the Energy Sector’, the well-attended conference created a convergence of researchers, industry players, investors, finance enterprises and manufacturing companies to identify patentable or commercially viable products resulting from R&D activities.
The R&D fair afforded Dangote Refinery the opportunity to showcase its 650,000 barrels-per-day single largest train refinery project and what it has done in terms of R&D during its construction.
Analysis of global practices of Research and Development revealed that the combined R&D spend of just five countries – USA, China, Japan, Germany, and India make up 63.5% of the entire global R&D spend.
During his visit to the Dangote Refinery exhibition booth at the fair, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, was said to have commended the company for supporting the Board.
He also urged companies in the Nigerian oil and gas sector to start nurturing the growth of home-grown technology rather than just being wholesome consumers of other people’s innovations.
He said: “Analysis of global practices of Research and Development revealed that the combined R&D spend of just five countries make up 63.5% of the entire global R&D spend. These five countries, namely USA, China, Japan, Germany, and India were also observed to have accounted for over 50% of the global Gross Domestic Products.
“Africa, on the other hand, accounted for less than one per cent (1%) of the global R&D spend, while its GDP is only 3% of the global GDP. You will agree with me that there is a nexus between the spend on Research and Development and economic prosperity,” Wabote added.
He reiterated that from time past to the current age of global connectivity, R&D always played a crucial role in opening up new chapters of modern life.
He listed some of the accomplishments of the Board to include the establishment of the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council, to advise the Board on matters relating to research and development in the industry, and the Development of R&D 10 Year Strategic Roadmap.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Silva, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, also called on stakeholders and youths across the country to take advantage of the NCDMB R&D centre to bolster adaptation of existing solutions, and also initiate new ones to address major challenges in the industry.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the theme for the fair captures stakeholders’ collective commitment to aggressively drive innovation and position the oil industry on the path of an integrated energy sector, where field development and production solutions are sourced through local capabilities.
He emphasised the need for private sector operators to invest in R&D. “It is important, however, to clear up a certain misconception: The funding of research is not the sole responsibility of national governments; rather, big spenders on research and development globally come from the private sector.”
Beyond financial intervention, he urged the industry players to challenge the local academia with its research issues, to ensure the development of home-grown technology and the retention of oil and gas spend in the economy.