Peace Obi

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote, went global on Wednesday with Nigerian Content Advocacy, when he addressed delegates at the 2018 African Oil Week (AOW) in Cape Town, South Africa at the start of the African Local Content Forum.

African Local Content Forum is an innovative inclusion in the bouquet of AOW plenaries promoted by NCDMB and other partners to serve as a high profile platform for NOCs, International and Independents Oil Companies, Service Companies to generate single vision of future roadmap for African Content within the global oil and gas sector.

Speaking on the topic , “How to Develop Funds for Local Content Development“, Wabote asserted that Nigerian Content Development Fund model, underpinned by legislation is an attractive option for both upcoming and mature oil and gas jurisdictions in the African sub-region. He outlined five key parameters required for sustainable local content practice, to include Regulatory Framework, Capacity Building, Gap Analysis, Research and Development, Funding and provision of incentives.

Stressing on the importance of funding, Wabote said, “the authors of the Nigerian Content Act, in recognition of the importance of funding to the success of Nigerian Content, made a key provision for funding to deliver the key objectives of the law”.

According to him, the provision for funding, was not only to enable the Board to carry out its functions as a regulator, it’s also to enable it develop capacities and capabilities in-country for increased value retention. He argued that the success of the Nigerian Content Development Fund could be attributed to the following factors: A clear, unambiguous provision backed by law; a clear remittance framework, sufficient time for accretion, transparent and impactful utilization.

Despite the success of Nigeria’s advocacy model, Wabote noted, “There is no ‘one size fits all’ in local content practice”. Adding that to succeed, countries need to adopt best practices, and tweak them to suit local circumstances.

The Chairman, Permanent Local Content Committee, Energy Sector for the Government of Trindad & Tobago, Tony Paul, who spoke on a topic, “Developing successful local content framework and policies to promote in-country value and shared prosperity” reiterated the need for countries to adopt a suitable model that best their needs. “There is no perfect model, countries must avoid cut and paste approach in designing their framework,” he said.

Other presenters and discussants who shared their countries experiences at the African Local Content Forum include Magda Chamraird, former CEO, Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels, Betty Namubiru of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, Ranti Omole for PETAN, Tein George, Chairman, Aveon Offshore, Armando Afonso, Exxonmobil, Angola, among others.

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