Former President Jonathan has advised African nations, especially those producing oil and gas, to establish a local content policy as a means of fast-tracking the development of local technology, industrialisation and deepening economic growth on the continent. The ex-President gave this advice on Wednesday in Houston at the 2018 Local Content Conference, taking place on the side-lines of this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Texas the United States.
Jonathan noted that the impact of the local content Act which he signed into law as a President in the year 2010 has brought about significant progress in local capacity utilization in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Encouraging other African nations to embrace similar initiative, he said: “I strongly recommend the local content policy for all oil and gas producing African nations because of its in-country positive impact on the development of local technology, employment generation and capacity to promote value addition, industrialisation and overall expansion of the economy.
The former President further described local content policy as “the missing link in Africa’s search for viable processes and procedures that would strengthen the continent’s economy across strategic value chains.” Jonathan also urged African leaders to prioritise education and manpower development in order to produce the required workforce that would galvanise industrialisation.
According to him, “African leaders must pay special attention to manpower development through quality education, training and research in areas of need to give local content through quality Industrialization, a great push. For Africa to truly develop in a sustainable manner, leaders must make conscious efforts to ensure that the education curricula of various countries are radically redesigned to produce skills relevant to the economic needs of the 21st century.”
He said also that “Africa needs to build competences and cultivate knowledgeable manpower that would revolutionize the continent’s technological advancement. That way, we can control the processes of exploration and exploitation of resources across the entire value chain of the petroleum industry and other sectors of the economy.”
Speaking further on the gains of the local content policy to Nigeria, the former President stated that its successful implementation has improved local capacity building for upstream and downstream operations and greatly boosted the push for industrialization in the country.