Sunday, December 15, 2019
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Ever since Nigeria Local Content Act was enacted in 2010, it has been monitored by the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), overseen also by the Executive Secretary of the Board. The success story of Nigeria’s local content cannot be overemphasized due to visionary leadership and strategic plans to take it to the next level as recent development in the oil industry attest to the triumph of Local Content Development in the country.

The current Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote has made remarkable improvement with strategies to ensure that Local Content Development thrives in Nigeria. Wabote has been christened as ‘Simbi Must Succeed’ owing to his strides from numerous achievements that the Board has attained.

Wabote outlined ten strategies which he promised to work on in order to increase national capacity over a five-year period. He outlined his progress report at the Nigerian Content Seminar during the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference held in Abuja recently. In his words, “Today, I want to provide progress status of those strategies in line with my conviction that yearly seminars and conferences like this should also be used to provide and receive feedback on actions taken or promises made to make the events worthwhile. Permit me to provide very brief highlights on the status as follows.”

Wabote’s first strategy is on stakeholders’ collaboration which is to overcome key challenges on skills gap, weak sectoral linkages, policy inconsistency and other issues. On these aspect, NCDMB has engaged Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) and Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) to streamline the Board areas of intervention in Human Capacity building. NCDMB has engaged Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), its subsidiary such as NAPIMS on in-country capacity utilization including other stakeholders in the industry.

Part of the strategy is to fast-track the establishment of five oil and gas parks. The Board has commenced site developments works on two of the parks in Bayelsa and Cross River states. Architectural and detailed engineering design works are on-going for the parks in the Akwa-Ibom and Imo States. Wabote said land acquisition are in progress for the ones in Delta and Edo states. In line with the directive of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu while the Board is also focusing on the establishment of similar parks in other geo-political zones of the country.

Another strategy is on Nigerian Content Opportunities Fair (NOGOF), the Board has published the compendium of opportunities in the oil and gas industries as promised.

A major strategy to boost local content in the country is Research and Development (R&D), NCDMB held R&D Fair last year in Lagos with resounding success. Some of the actions from the Fair are being implemented by the Board to progress local content development in the country.

Wabote emphasized on provision of support for the completion of on-going third party investments. He made it known that the Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI-MCI) fabrication yard in Lagos Deepwater and Logistics (LADOL) has been completed with the successful berthing of the Egina FPSO and commencement of integration works.

The ES revealed that as part of the Board strategies, it is streamlining the contracting cycle to six months. It has also signed Service Level Agreements with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and Oil Producing Trade Section (OPTS). The third SLA is being jointly developed with Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) and will be signed off shortly.

NCDMB launched upgraded NOGIC JQS platform in line with its strategy and over one thousand participants attended the hands-on training workshop meant to reduce and eliminate paper-works associated with requests and interface with the Board.

At present, the Board has one hundred and twenty-one thousand individual records on the platform compared to seventy-one thousand that it had in 2017. The number of service companies increased from 6,600 to 7,400 while the number of operating companies increased from forty to forty.

Wabote stated further that “The Board is fully keyed into the Petroleum Industry Roadmap and it is actively working on various aspects of the ‘7 Big Wins’ such as capacity building with hundreds of thousands of training man-hours achieved since last year.” The Board is also working on the promotion of domestic utilization of LPG and establishment of modular refineries. He noted that NCDMB has signed Shareholders Agreement for 30% equity participation in a 5,000bpd modular refinery, “More of such interventions are in the pipeline.”

The NCDMB strong man stressed on internal restructuring, the Board has developed ten-year strategy and secured the approval of its Governing Council on its implementation.  In addition, staff redeployment has also been carried out by the Board as applicable with training and other staff development programs in place to build a highly skilled and motivated workforce.

Wabote disclosed that the Federal Government has been supportive with various Executive Orders aimed at sustaining and expanding the realm of local content practice in the country.

According to Wabote, at the Local Content Seminar, “It has indeed been a busy year for all stakeholders in the Nigerian Content practice. My expectation is that operators will have a concise actionable measures to drive the oil and gas industry towards sustained economic development and growth in line with this year’s theme.”

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