ABUJA—The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has called on oil companies in Nigeria to adopt some of the universities as their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), so as to help solve in-house challenges facing the oil and gas industry in the country.
Kachikwu, who made the call on Wednesday at a press conference after the closing ceremony of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit 2019 in Abuja, stressed on the need for coalition between the oil majors and the universities.
“I say, even if it is as part of their social responsibility or social investment, they adopt universities in their enclaves and make them centers of excellence. I am saying that just giving scholarships, a few interventions here and there is not good enough.
“For example, if you are operating out of Port Harcourt and there is a a university of Port Harcourt there, adopt the university, set out a centre for petroleum resource survey and then make it the very best in the world, create partnership between them and the very best universities anywhere in the world and provide infrastructure, the right faculty, provide the right curriculum and provide guarantees of hiring people coming out from there, because you know you are getting the very best”, he remarked.
He further explained that if the action can be undertaken by sectors such as petroleum, agriculture and the lawyers, in no time, the abandoned Nigerian universities will begin to take the centres of excellence.
He stated also that oil is sustaining the country, and as such, oil ought to be able to provide the very best centre of learning for oil studies in Nigeria, adding that if that is neglected, Nigeria will have nothing to give to Africa.
According to him, “The Oil Companies are acceptable to this. Total said they have actually started that process that they have aligned with the university of Port Harcourt and I said I was going to go study their model to see how better it can get to make sure it is meeting the very level of excellence I am expecting.
“I am expecting centers that are the very best in the world, so that if you have to study petroleum resources related type subject there is no need for you to pay foreign exchange to go anywhere, because the best is sitting here.
“And if after 50 years of oil production we can’t even give that to our people, then something is missing, I will be driving this further with NCDMB and expanding the goal for us to work together on this and work with oil companies to see how best we can get this accomplished”, he said.
Shedding more light on the renewal of licenses of oil blocks, he disclosed that the government has raised about 1.5 billion getting closer to 2 billion from license renewal.
“The terms under which these renewals are being done are a lot more rigid,a lot more money is been raised. We are on 1.5 getting closer to 2 billion and like I said, never have we raised that kind of amount of money on renewals alone. So, for the first time government is getting huge amount of money out of renewal process.
“Bear in mind that renewals are not granting of new licensing, we have not renewed oil blocks. The president hasn’t touched the issue of renew blocks since he came in. These are blocks already given out to people who are in production already and who are entitled by law to renewal”, he disclosed.
Speaking on continuity of NIPS, the Minister pointed out that the Summit is a movement that has started and expressed belief that there are enough seeds to sustain it.
Kachikwu added also, that he has no doubt NIPS will go places and continue to go on, long after the present government must have all gone.