The NCDMB members who were present at the interactive session urged the Senate Committee on Local Content to inquire from the oil companies to explain their extractive business approach without providing manufacturing content.
The Senate has taken a stand against the extractive operating models used by Chevron, Exxon, and other oil companies in Nigeria, which do not include manufacturing content as is the case in other countries.
This action was taken by the Senate Committee on Local Content during its interactive session with the management of the National Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Wednesday.
The Committee chaired by Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan (PDP Kogi Central), revealed that Chevron, despite its abilities to explore crude oil in Saudi Arabia, also manufactures Polypropylene which is one of the waste products from Gas used in producing syringes.
According to the committee, these syringes fetch Saudi Arabia $ 6 billion annually.
It further stated that Exxon Oil does the same in the United States of America (USA), making it the nation’s third-largest producer of polypropylene (PP).
Questions, however, arose as to why the same foreign oil companies that are extracting crude oil in Nigeria are yet to take the step of using the waste products from the resource to manufacture necessities in the country.
The committee found that the Jubilee Syringe Plant in Bayelsa collapsed as a result of a gap in the International Oil companies’ operational model, which prevented them from having the necessary raw material (polypropylene).
Natasha emphasised that the international oil companies would be called to account for why they are converting Nigeria into an extractive zone rather than manufacturing one as is done in other countries, given that NCDMB claims it lacks the authority to force them to diversify their business practices.
She said, “We cannot just allow the oil companies to turn Nigeria to just an extractive zone as far as exploration of crude oil is concerned but a manufacturing one as well with attendant economic value.
“This committee shall therefore summon the affected oil companies to appear before it on how what are available in Saudi Arabia, USA, etc, can be replicated in Nigeria,” she said.
However, the committee was impressed by the information that was presented by NCDMB Executive Secretary Engineer Felix Ogbe regarding a $50 million grant for research and another $20 million for women in the oil and gas industry.