How Nigerians Now Run Oil Industry Without Expatriates – Wabote

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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Tuesday said that the Nigerian Oil and Gas exploration and production is now manned by indigenous manpower.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote said that the COVID-19 pandemic which compelled oil industry expatriates to leave the country presented an opportunity for Nigerians to take over and run the oil sector.

He observed that the feat was an indication that the country has grown in the technical capacity to run an industry that was hitherto dominated by foreign experts.

Wabote stated this in his goodwill message at a workshop organised by the NCDMB titled, Sustaining Nigerian Content Development Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic :The Role of the Media held in Port Harcourt.

The Executive Secretary noted that in 10 years after the establishment of NCDMB in April 2010, the Board has grown Nigerian Content from less than 10 per cent to 32 percent while it aims to hit the 70 per cent mark come 2027.

He noted that the board under his watch has increased the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund administered by the Bank of Industry for local players in the oil sector from $200 million to $350 million.

Also the board invested in the newly inaugurated 5,000 barrels per day Walter Smith Modular Refinery in Imo and Azikel Refinery in Bayelsa as well as instituting a $50 million chair for Research and Development in selected Nigerian Universities amongst other achievements.

In his presentation, the NCDMB’s General Manager Corporate Communications, Dr Gina Gina, said that the board has successfully developed a policy to incorporate host communities in the oil and gas value chain through the Community Content Guidelines.

He explained that the guideline has reserved a quota of jobs and contracts to local communities hosting oil and gas facilities to promote harmony amongst oil firms and their host communities.

According to him, the guideline stipulates that all unskilled labour must be sourced from the host communities while 50 per cent of the semi-skilled and 10 per cent of skilled work force must be sourced from the host communities.

Gina further said that henceforth any firm executing a project value of $100 million and above or projects with up to two years time frame must establish a functional project office in the operational area.

Speaking on Role of Media in Achieving Nigerian Content 10 year strategic roadmap, Chido Nwakamma, a veteran journalist and don at Pan Atlantic University, Lagos urged the media to focus on providing solutions in their reportage of the sector.

He traced the pioneering role of the first newspaper in Nigeria, Iwe Irohin in crusading for a better society and mobilising the readers to be patriotic and embrace education and urged journalists to return to the path of development focused reportage.

According to him, there is a compelling needs to educate and inform Nigerians on the drive by the government and NCDMB to deepen the participation of Nigerians in the oil sector and sensitise them on available opportunities.

Media practitioners from the South South geopolitical zone participated at the workshop.

By Kenechukwu Obiajuru, Yenagoa

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