Ugandans will need to need to build a strong supply chain in the oil and gas sector in order to support the much desired value chain, Eng. Ernest Nwapa, a champion of National Content Development in Nigeria has said.
He was speaking Wednesday at Local Content Stakeholder Dialogue organized Association of Uganda Oil and Gas Service Providers (AUGOS) at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda.
“We need to have a robust supply chain. It is in the interest of oil companies to have government and associations to develop in country capacity,” Eng Nwapa told the dialogue in his key note address.
“Capacity development initiatives are the responsibility of the operator. If someone can work in the oil & gas industry they can work in the petroleum sector, the roads sector the telecom sector. The oil company will not employ so many people,”
He said that while the operators bring in the money, technology & know how, they want to run their business. “We need to bring them as partners and work with them & their service providers because they know the best way to build capacity for you,”
“If they are constructing the pipeline, insist that some of the pipes are from your country. Something must come from your country because this project will last over two years. Think about leaving capacity in the country after the project.
“Even if you train people for 2 years, if they don’t have a shop where they can practice, all that is wasted. We must insist work is done in our country &that it is our engineers to work in these orgs,”
The dialogue under the theme “Unlocking local content opportunities in the oil and gas sector” attracted services providers from Tanzania under their umbrella body Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Service Providers (ATOGS).
Uganda is expected is expected to start produce oil and gas in 2020 and for that matter local businesses are trying to beat the odds and significantly participate in this quest by building the required capacity.
Eng Nwapa said skilling people will ensure that even when the activities in the sector scale down, ‘people will retain skills and use them in other sectors like roads, telecoms,’
‘Your measurement of local content is how many people you have employed &how many additional years and new skills you have added to the people. To benefit, we need to use legislation in a friendly manner.
“Building infrastructure without people who will use it becomes useless and the country doesn’t progress. Attention should be paid to towards skilling people.
“If they are constructing the pipeline, insist some pipes are from your country. Something must come from your country because this project will last over two years. Think about leaving capacity in the country after the project.
“It takes working together, follow up and convincing to get opportunities to local people. It is associations like AUGOS and the government that will get Ugandans opportunities in the oil sector if they work together.” He said.