Hon. Joseph Iranola Akinlaja
-By Olufunke Afolami
Honourable Joseph Iranola Akinlaja, former Chairman Petroleum Resources Downstream, Federal House of Representatives, said in his goodwill message at the launching of the Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria (OGSPAN) PETROHUB digital petroleum products marketplace in Lagos, that the cardinal objectives of the association is a welcome development to the oil industry.
Akinlaja who was once an operator in the sector made it known that PETROHUB digital initiative is to encourage the harnessing of resources and technical expertise by members and the formation of alliances for competitive edge in the oil and gas marketplace.
Another objective is to provide a common platform for the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry-based service providers for the good of members and the value chain of oil resources on the Nigerian economy and the industrialization of Nigeria.
The former Chairman Petroleum Resources Downstream, added that PETROHUB will become the nexus for the exchange of ideas and information for the development and promotion of local Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
He said the objectives are self-explanatory. It is clear that from its concept OGSPAN was set up to play significant role in the industry by its founders. The formation of PETROHUB digital services is derived from one of the objectives of the association.
PETROHUB Trading & Logistics Company Limited is an offspring of OGSPAN and initiative of members of the association who have embraced culture of innovation and technology for the transformation of the industry in Nigeria and by extension improving the nation’s economy.
He stated further that refining, depot systems, procurement and distribution of petroleum products energizes the economy as it aids effective production of goods and services in industries, movement of people and goods to sustain socio-economic activities across the country. OGSPAN-PETROHUB has come to digitalize system.
He emphasised on the major objectives of PETROHUB which is to provide real-time electronic marketplace where depots owners, suppliers and buyers of petroleum products will transact business with minimal human interference.
Hon. Akinlaja enjoined stakeholders to make the processes more efficient by providing live information and data on actual products volume available at the depots, live pricing and fleet tracking for potential buyers.
This will promote the sales of products and services of clients in a transparent manner to be able to compete on the rate of learning by leveraging innovation and technology to identify and fulfill each individual customer’s changing needs and by deploying the best human and machines to unlock the full potentials of new technologies.
Such technologies include as artificial intelligence and collaborative ecosystems in the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria.
Akinlaja made reference to recent remarks made by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Melle Kyari endorsing the existence of organizations like OGSPAN and PETROHUB in the industry.
In the GMD keynote address at the 37th National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) Conference & Exhibition in Lagos, he called on oil and gas professionals in Nigeria to embrace the culture of innovation and technology towards transforming the industry and by extension improving the nation’s economy. Kyari said for the industry to be transformed, professionals in the sector must collaborate and make digitalization a priority, invest in human capital development programmes, optimize the use of industry data platforms as well as invest in the oil and gas collaborative ecosystem.
Akinlaja pointed out that the World Economic Forum (WEF), has predicted that “Digital transformation is emerging as a driver of sweeping change in the world around us. Connectivity has shown the potential to empower millions of people, while providing businesses with unparalleled opportunities for value creation and capture.
Since the industrial revolution, the Oil & Gas industry has played a pivotal role in the economic transformation of the world, fueling the need for heat, light and mobility of the world’s population. Today the Oil and Gas industry has the opportunity to redefine its boundaries through digitalization. After a period of falling crude prices and, frequent budget and schedule overruns, together with greater demands of climate change accountability and difficulties in attracting talent, the Oil & Gas industry can provide practical solutions. Digitalization can act as an enabler to tackle these challenges and provide value to all its stakeholders”
According to WEF, for business leaders to win the 202s it must embrace technology. “The growing consensus is that the Oil and Gas sector is on the cusp of a new era. A second wave of business and digital technologies looks set to reshape it, propelled by a series of macroeconomic, industry and technology trends. The emerging wave of technology including sensors, the internet of things and artificial intelligence will turn every business into an information business”
Akinlaja asserted that PETROHUB appears like the panacea for the myriad of challenges in the procurement and distribution of petroleum products in the downstream sector. He urged all stakeholders to support PETROHUB digital services.