By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on Higher Institutions in Nigeria to move from certificate awarding institutions and take leading position in strengthening the foundation for National prosperity through innovation and entrepreneurial education.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru stated this during the 40th Pre-Convocation Lecture of Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU) Zaria, Kaduna North-West, Nigeria on Saturday, tagged ‘Oil and Gas Industry and the Nigerian State: Enduring Value, Promoting Economic Integration and Social Stability’.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Baru says: “these days, no Nation can move forward by mass-producing graduates, who cannot move on their own until they are pushed”.
According to him, “it is inspiring to know that Ahmadu Bello University’s commitment to technology excellence has started yielding positive result through its recent development of 1 barrel of crude oil per day refinery by the Department of Chemical Engineering is a giant and impressive step forward.
He noted that such efforts must be sustained at all levels, especially as the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry crave for complete indigenization of manpower and equipment manufacturing through enabling laws such as the Nigerian Content Development Act 2010.
The NNPC Boss encouraged other Faculties and Institutions of learning to emulate the commitment of ABU Zaria, who despite the widespread under funding suffered by institutions, is today able to make a mark in technological innovations.
Dr. Baru assured that NNPC will be ready to support meaningful University-Industry collaboration for proper commercialization of research and development that seeks to improve efficiency, environmental sustainability and cost effectiveness of the operations of the Oil and Gas Industry and other related businesses.
He lamented that stronger collaboration between the Academia, Industries and Government must be forged to end poverty in all forms not only in the North but in Nigeria at large.
The GMD commended the graduates, saying their educational journey will not only be measured in the academic work they have undertaken, but also in the professionalism and experience you display in tackling the challenges and opportunities lying ahead.
“The future belongs to entrepreneurs who do not need going through the labour market to survive.
“You need to take the path to entrepreneurship to be able to propel yourself to the destination of your dream; by so doing, Nigeria’s economy will witness the growth and diversification we all want to see.
“This is the time to look inward and not outward. Ask yourselves the pertinent questions; how do I make the best use of what I have learnt in the University for the benefit of our Community and our Country?” he said.