NCDMB: Reps Drum Support for Nigeria Local Content Development
By Sunday Elom
Nigerian’s House of Representatives has reassured the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on its resolve to strengthen the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, through the ongoing amendment of the Act.
The lawmakers also said they are open to new proposals towards the enactment of laws that would remove bottlenecks to local production of goods and services, as well as competition with foreign products and services .
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Hon. Legor Idagbo, gave the assurance a few days ago when he led members of the committee on a visit to the NCDMB’s headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital.
He commended the board for the effective implementation of NOGICD Act, 2010 and other oil and gas policies; which according to the lawmaker, have grown indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry to 42% and retained over $8billion in the Nigerian economy out of over $20billion value of projects executed in the industry.
He applauded the board for ensuring that over 80% of contracts in the industry were awarded to Nigerian companies and nurturing about 100 companies under the project 100 initiative.
According to him, the NCDMB has demonstrated that it is not just a regulator but an enabler of business but a prudent and efficient manager of resources in view of the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF). This, according to him, has created accessible and low-cost credit that enabled Nigerian companies to access funds used in acquiring assets, execution of contracts, setting up manufacturing facilities or refinancing high-interest loans.
He explained that his committee was constituted to oversee all matters associated with local content policies in different sectors of the economy and ensure compliance with laws relating to local content.
According to him, the committee has made considerable progress with the bill to provide for the development, regulation and enforcement of Nigerian content in all sectors of the Nigerian economy except the oil and gas sector; and a bill for an Act to amend the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.
“Our inclusion of local content philosophy in the PIA will no doubt give further impetus to the realization of 70% local content target, as all project promoters operating in Nigeria are mandated to comply with the NOGICD Act in all contractual arrangements,” the lawmaker said.
He expressed satisfaction over the fruitful interactions with the board and stressed that it is their constitutional responsibility and part of their legislative function to strengthen the NCDMB and sponsor bills in line with current realities.
Hon. Ideagbo, who also extolled the board for launching the $50million Research and Development (R&D) Fund to commercialize research findings and promote home-grown technology development, said that the R&D Fund is a very important pillar for sustainable local content.
Welcoming the lawmakers, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, thanked the lawmakers for their timely oversight visit to the board, adding that the visit accords the lawmakers the opportunity to have first-hand experience of the workings of the board.
“The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 is a product of the National Assembly, so it is only natural that an amendment of that bill is done by the National Assembly,” Engr. Wabote said.
He expressed gratitude to the National Assembly for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which according to him has further reinforced the role of the NCDMB in the oil and gas industry. He said that the Act is “a good bill that if well implemented will positively change the face of this country.”