NCDMB, NNPC to Use One-Stop Approval Desk for Oil Industry Projects – Kachikwu
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will before the end of 2018 start using a one-stop shop arrangement for reviewing and approving oil industry projects and contracts in a bid to shorten the industry contracting cycle.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu announced this on Thursday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State at a meeting with top management of the NCDMB at its headquarters. The collaborative approval process between NCDMB and NNPC, he explained, will ensure that the target six months contract approval cycle time is achieved, while the cost of crude oil production will also reduce. According to him, “if you look at the cost components we are trying to drive down; from $28 per barrel, it is now $23 and we are targeting $15. We can’t achieve that if our bureaucracy is slow.” The Minister commended NCDMB for adopting the use of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with its key stakeholders, promising to ensure that other agencies within the Ministry of Petroleum Resources adopt the initiative which will help to drive efficiency within organisations.
The Board signed the first SLA with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) in May 2017 and is preparing to sign similar agreement with the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) – the umbrella body of major international and indigenous operating oil companies. The SLA with NLNG provides specific timelines under which the Board must conclude requested reviews and approvals. Under the SLA, NLNG can proceed with its projects if the Board fails to respond at the expiration of set timelines.
Kachiku said, “It takes a lot of courage for you to put a guaranty and tell people that if I don’t respond within a period, take it as approved. I will like to see this type of concept among all our parastatals. We can borrow a leaf from this.” He reiterated that the Board had enjoyed high quality leadership from inception, which helped the agency record sterling achievements over the years. “I did say when I came here the first time that NCDMB is one of the few federal parastatals that has benefited consistently at the top management level in terms of leadership. The consistency is commendable over the last two or three persons who have led here. Each one complemented what the other person has done.”
Speaking further, Kachikwu praised the collaboration between NCDMB and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), particularly on the development of modular refineries, which would help to address the perennial shortage of petroleum resources, create jobs and minimize the scourge of illegal refining. He tasked the Board to collaborate with other relevant institutions including Nigerian universities, some of whom have developed prototypes of modular refineries.
On the Board’s headquarters building project which had got to the 17th floor, the Minister described it as a profound statement to the people of Bayelsa State that “the Federal Government did not just come to take oil and walk away but that we took oil and left something behind.” He added that the office complex would provide a good working environment and a wonderful incentive for international and local operating companies to set up offices within the building. He stressed that such world class buildings and other infrastructure like airports, roads, security and recreation facilities were needed so that oil companies will find it commercially sensible to move their headquarters to oil producing states.