By Etuka Sunday
Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) yesterday disclosed that plans have reached advance stage for the establishment of Oil and Gas Research Laboratories in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Aliyu Bello Gusau gave the hint at the PTDF National Board of Trustee (NBT) meeting in Abuja.
The PTDF, NBT Meeting is the highest policy decision-making body where discussions on critical issues on Endowment programme are deliberated.
The Meeting was to review the current operational strategy of the Endowment programme and make recommendations on new areas of research to be sponsored by PTDF.
The Fund has so far endowed Eight (8) Professorial Chairs in 8 Universities across the country to carry out indigenous research towards solving oil and gas industry problems and as well develop local technology and input required for effective operations of the industry.
Bello said, lack of research facilities affect effective research execution, therefore, “plans to establish research laboratories has reached advance stage. Two or more because if have all facilities centralised, then researchers from across Nigeria can come and avail themselves of such facilities. This meeting is going to discuss the processes that will focus on achieving this,” he said.
He said: “you can not do research if you don’t have necessary facilities to do so. There are instances where people go to other countries to access facilities and that should not be the case.” therefore, called on NBT to brainstorm on ways to address the anomalies.
He said, the Fund was collaborating with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to domesticate technology in the oil and industry.
“NNPC is a big organisation. And they have well established Research and Development Department and have just commenced that process of identifying key research issues relating to domesticating technology in the oil and gas industry that we can pursue together,” he said.
Speaking on the significance of the meeting, he said, “developing capacity for the oil and gas industry require information and knowledge, the only way to get that knowledge is through continuous research. And that is why PTDF is dedicated to promoting that across universities in the country.
“We have had a close out of the old programmes and we are relaunching new ones,” he said.
On funding, he said: ”funding is always a challenge. It is a challenge for all institutions, but we have to do what we have to do with the resources we have. The first thing is to appreciate how important a programme is and decide from the little you have what to allocate to such programme.”