It’s Time to jointly Tackle the Big Elephant in the Room called Corruption – Ojulari, MD SNEPCo

At the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce organised workshop on Local Content, which held in June at the Four points by Sheraton hotel, Lagos, the Managing Director of SNEPCo, Mr Bayo Ojulari advised industry professionals to take bold steps and jointly tackle the elephant in the room by shunning corruption.
He alluded to a recent encounter in Abuja, where the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibajo decried the multiplier effect of corruption on the nation. Mr Ojulari explained that, sharp practices for personal benefits which leads to inflation of the cost of contracts, has the potential of making the country inconducive for doing business. He linked the ease of doing business index to a disadvantaged cost structure occasioned by inflated contract. He noted that, it undermines the collective effort towards building a low-cost region thus failing to be better than other countries.
“If we carried out a transparent analysis of cost structure, making it public with regulators and comparing with other regions like Ghana, South Africa, Angola, and Brazil, you will notice a disparity. This happens because of corruption-induced inflation,” he stated.
“The practice of everyone adding his own bit to the project cost for personal gains will eventually scare away investors. No investor will want to bring his vessel or investment here. We must think about our children, our cousins too. Will they even have contracts that will sustain them when the FDIs are no longer coming?” Concerning regulations to help promote local content development, Mr Ojulari said, “At Shell, we are accustomed to staying ahead of regulations, and it has given us a sustained advantage. It is stepping forward early into unchartered waters. While regulation is a good reference point, pursuing business value will help you achieve more by unlocking opportunities you never imagined, while still staying above regulations.
“Though there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of regulations, it is a mediocre mindset,” he added.
The SNEPCo chief executive expressed concern about sustaining the nation’s local content benefits via talent retention. He noted that companies invest heavily in training, but afterwards, the built human capacity is lost when these skilled individuals relocate outside the country. “About 70 per cent of our trained human capacity move out of the country. Let’s not talk about the mass exodus with our doctors, but the oil and gas industry is beginning to have its fair share and we need to do enough to stop the trend in order to benefit from the local content we pursue,” he explained..

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