Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, yesterday, announced the creation of the Nigerian Content Research and Development Fund with an initial seed capital of $50 million.
Sylva, who spoke at the second Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Research Development Fair and Conference, said the fund was meant for the establishment of research centres of excellence and funding support for research commercialisation.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, also unveiled a 10-year Research and Development (R&D) roadmap, adding that the fund would also support basic, applied research and endowment of the professorial chair.
He said although the fund was insufficient, it betrayed the premium the President Muhammadu Buhari administration placed on developing the nation’s research and development capacity.
His words: “I encourage the private sector to replicate the global practice by complementing the Nigerian Content Research & Development Fund and actively support government’s drive in boosting national research.
“Following forensic analysis of the research ecosystem and anticipation of the industry, NCDMB has developed a 10-year R&D roadmap to set the agenda for its interventions on R&D.
“The roadmap is anchored on funding, infrastructure, capability, commercial framework, collaboration, governance, legal framework, and enforcement.
“If collectively implemented, the roadmap will position our industry on the path of sustainable assimilation of products of Research in oil and gas operations.”
In his presentation, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said R&D was pivotal to the growth and development of any nation and the evolution of mankind.
He said from time immemorial to the current age of global connectivity, R&D always played a crucial role in opening up new chapters of modern life.
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, in his address, urged the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to relocate their headquarters to the state without further delay.
Diri, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ehwhrujakpor, said the state like most oil-producing states in the Niger Delta region wants an amendment to the three per cent Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).