A Five-man delegation from the Ministry of Petroleum, Republic of Niger recently visited the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and sought counsel on how to implement Local Content initiatives in their oil and gas industry.
The team was led by the Head of Economy and Audit of Cost Oil Division in the Directorate of Hydrocarbons, Ministry of Petroleum in the Republic of Niger, Mr. Adamou Arzika Aouta. They indicated interest in learning strategies for local vendor development, capacity building for Niger citizens to meet industry standards and ensuring compliance by operating and service companies, transparent bidding process among other subjects.
In his remarks, Aouta explained that Niger produces about 12,000 barrels of crude oil per day and is expecting an investment inflow of $20bn in the hydrocarbons industry. He said the nation’s government was desirous to maximize in-country value from the projected investments.
Welcoming the delegation, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote stated that Nigeria is one of the leading nations in the world petroleum industry and is very advanced in the area of Local Content.
Wabote who was represented by the General Manager, Research, Strategy and Development, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu mentioned that Nigeria is happy and ready to share its expertise on Local Content practice and provide guidance to Niger and other African countries in their quest to improve Local Content implementation. He noted that other African countries like Kenya, Gabon, Ugandan and Congo Brazzaville had previously sought Nigeria’s guidance on local content.
Making a presentation on the activities and achievements of NCDMB, Halilu stated that certain parameters were necessary for sustainable Local Content implementation, listing them to include gap analysis of the industry, capacity building, regulatory framework, incentives and research and development.
He added that Nigerian Content had helped the government and people of Nigeria to retain substantial industry spend, increase the participation of locals in the industry and increase domiciliation of fabrication and engineering designs and indigenous ownership of critical industry equipment.
He advised the Niger officials to institutionalize local content at the onset of their oil and gas industry as it would guarantee tangible benefits for their citizens aside the revenue that would accrue from the sale of crude oil and gas.
According to him, “the focus of our Local Content policy is not Nigerianization of the oil and gas sector but domiciliation and domestication of value adding activities”.
In his comments, the General Manager, Capacity Building, NCDMB, Dr. Ama Ikuru said that “for Local Content to succeed in Niger, the administrators must insist on industry activities being executed in-country, as that would enable the indigenes to participate and acquire skills”.
He advised the delegates to focus on human capacity development and equip their indigenes with specialized skill sets required to work in the oil and gas industry.
Also speaking, the Acting Coordinator, Legal Services, NCDMB, Barr. Mohammed Umar advised the Niger delegation to take a cue from the Nigerian Content Act and develop robust regulations that are applicable to the state of their industry and technological base, while encouraging collaboration with local and international stakeholders to domicile capacity in-country.