Lee Engineering Boss wants Govt to prioritise offshore technology in Africa
The chief executive officer of Lee Engineering and Construction Company, Dr. Leemon Ikpea, wants the Buhari administration and stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, in the country to ensure that Nigeria remains a leading nation in the development of world-class offshore technologies in the Africa.
Speaking to journalists, at the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston Texas, on Thursday, Ikpea said as a major player in the production of oil and gas in the world, Nigeria should be at the vanguard of development of offshore technologies in the world. “In the last five decades, Nigeria as a nation has been in the business of oil and gas exploration and we have the resources as a nation to develop and export modern technologies in the sector to other parts of the world.
“At our level, we shouldn’t be talking of petrol (PMS) or kerosene (AGO) scarcity in Nigeria. We should not be talking about Nigeria not been able to fix its refineries. With our experience in the industry, we should be able to beat our chest and tell the developed societies that we can do things big in offshore technologies,” he said.
Ikpea who is one of Nigeria’s indigenous fabricator in the oil and gas sector as well as a representative of major offshore technology companies in the world, appealed to the government and stakeholders to come together to “do what the major leaders in the oil and gas sector are doing especially the development of modern offshore equipment and facilities”.
“What is happening in Houston should be happening in Nigeria as a major oil and gas producer in the continent. Nigeria should be leading all other Africa countries in this area. We should be able to standout in the world on the issue of oil and gas. We should not just be a seller of crude oil alone, we should strive to manufacture modern technologies in the exploration of oil and gas in the world by putting our local experience to use.
We can do it if we are determined and I strongly appeal to the government to give the necessary support to major players in the industry to come together to achieve this feat. It is doable if we are determined,” he said.
While thanking the Nigeria government for encouraging indigenous companies to thrive in the sector, Ikpea noted that the passage of the Local Content Act was the energy that the government gave to indigenous company to compete in the sector.
“The Local Content Act was a boost for those of us in the sector who are Nigerians but more still need to be done by the government to give indigenous companies the strength so that they can continue to support the government in boosting the economy.
What the government has done with the Act is to lay the foundation for Nigerians in the sector to build a stronger and better oil and gas industry. The government still needs to do more so that we can have enough financial muscles to help in researches and development of modern offshore technologies in the country”. He congratulated the organizers of the OTC in Houston for the successful hosting the 2017 edition and for also setting the pace in the exhibition of world-class equipment in the oil and gas sector.