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Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Nigeria’s Minister of state for Petroleum Resouces, Timipre Sylva, has stated that the birth of Petroleum Industry Act would play a significant role in pushing the country’s gas-based energy transition. 

He disclosed this while declaring open the second edition of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board’s research and development fair in Balyesa. 

He said: “I am confident that the combined impact of the fiscal, governance, and developmental provisions contained in the PIA and the major infrastructure and institutional support to R&D will lead us to a new energy industry that is resilient, adaptive to gas-based energy transition and a source of pride to all compatriots” 

He said the Petroleum Industry Act has introduced a governance framework for the industry with clear delineation of roles between regulation and profit-centric business units. 

He added that the Act contains fiscal incentives to attract investment in gas development and local refining; it also provides exceptional care for host communities and future energy security through dedicated funding of frontier basins, renewable energy development and local content. 

According to him, the evolving reality is a pointer for stakeholders to begin to look inward and gravitate towards research and development endeavors capable of granting them technological and strategic competitive advantage 

He emphasised that research and Innovation ecosystem thrives better with strong collaboration between governments -industry and the academic. 

He expressed disgust over Nigeria’s spend of about 0.2% of its Gross Domestic Product on research and development, saying the financial crunch on same reflects on Nigeria’s overdependence on foreign goods and services. 

He added:” This is unsustainable if we are serious about building a national technological capability that will drive economic growth. 

“ It is my firm believe that this trend can be mitigated through a collaborative approach to research and innovation. 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. 

“In 2019 private sector practitioners in the ICT hardware & electronic equipment sector, pharmaceutical & biotechnology sector, automobiles and components sector cumulatively spent US$528bn on R&D representing 22% of the US$2.3 trillion global R&D spend. In India, the private sector contributed 38.1% of the country’s R&D spend. 

The essence of this data analytics is to reinforce the importance of our local service companies to embrace investment in R&D as a key component of their business model; and it is my expectation that this R&D fair will provide the needed stimulus. 

“Still on funding and in line with our commitment to provide leadership, I am pleased to officially announce the creation of the “Nigerian Content Research and Development Fund” with an initial seed capital of $50 million”. 

He explained that fund is designed to cater for the establishment of research centers of excellence, funding support for research commercialisation, funding support for basic and applied research as well as endowment of professorial chair 

He said: “The fund though clearly insufficient, signifies the premium the present administration places on growing our nation’s research and development capabilities. 

“I encourage the private sector to replicate the global practice by complementing the Nigerian Content Research & Development Fund and actively support the Government’s drive in upscaling our national research architecture” 

About IWIN

The Independent Energy Watch Initiative (I-WIN), an enterprise of Energy ConServ and the Roundtable for the Growth and Development of Power (RODEP), is an online/web based power sector portal that strives to engage stakeholders and the Nigerian public on topical issues in the power sector.

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