By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Dr. Afe Mayowa, president, Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria, (OGTAN) and chief executive officer, Danvic Petroleum International Corporation has called for collaboration by all inter-governmental organization to further improve Research & Development (R&D) in Nigerian universities.
Dr. Afe who spoke with our correspondent at the sideline of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference (NOG) in Abuja said that there is need to put more collaborative efforts in place between Nigerian universities and the oil and gas industry.
He said that there is nothing wrong if about 10 PhD candidates are selected as a research team to work on a particular project in the University of Ibadan while Chevron becomes the sponsor which in return the candidates will be able to deliver the work with a positive result. He adds: “This is the kind of collaboration we really want to see. But as at today, we are not seeing too much of that.”
He further explained that in the developed countries, you will see companies investing in departments who have personnel; doctoral students and the students will devote their time in carrying out specific research that could help the oil and gas industry. This is because the companies are in business to make money while the universities are in the process of adding knowledge. So the companies help the students who want to go into research and add to knowledge which they will also benefit from.
“This is because if you improve technology, a lot of things will be easy for the oil company. There is a lot of benefit in inter agency collaboration. This is to forestall duplication of efforts,” Dr. Afe said.
Dr. Afe also called for Government support to ensure that there is an enabling environment for every operation to be useful. He adds: “Chevron cannot collaborate with the University of Ibadan if the environment for Chevron to do their business is not there.”
He said that there should be some tax concession to companies that are sponsoring research in universities. There should be some form of tax holiday. For instance in developed nations, if you sponsor anything charity, what they do is that the money is tax free. It encourages you to do more because you know that you will get some of the things that you are doing tax-free. An enabling environment is a key and the government should be able to provide it.
As part of OGTAN efforts to contribute to the oil and gas industry, the group recently organised an education summit which was attended by stakeholders from across the Nigerian oil & gas industry.
OGTAN have also developed a communiqué which are giving to government, ministry of education and every industry stakeholders.
OGTAN has also created a technical business meetings that will enable people to be able to express themselves.