…As industry chiefs applaud the giant strides of NCDMB
Executive secretary of the Nigeria Content Development and Management Board [NCDMB], Mr. Simbi Wabote, has told indigenous players and service companies in the oil and gas industry to identify with appropriate sectoral working groups under the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) to receive adequate attention on operational difficulties and challenges.
Answering questions from participants on The Practical Nigerian Content Conference held in Uyo, last week, Wabote explained that the NCCF was established to identify issues and responsibilities, and propose interventions that can address issues and harness opportunities.
He explained further that the Forum has helped many indigenous companies to find their footing in the industry. according to him, key players in the sector and chief executives took time to dissect the oil and gas industry regulatory framework and the enabling statute, Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGIC) Act, 2010.
Meanwhile some energy chiefs have commended the NCDMB for phenomenal success in actualising its mandate. The energy chiefs showed special interest in ‘The 7 Ministerial Regulations’ and how it has impacted on oil and gas industry operations.
They expressed delight on how the implementation of the Act has advanced objectives such as enhanced Nigerian content and value addition through sectoral and regional linkages.
All were in agreement with the explanation of a legal expert, Barrister Ilu Ozekhome, that “the regulations are a framework within which provisions of the Act could be enforced.”
Preparatory work on the regulations had gone through several processes in which stakeholders had been fully engaged.
The Chairman, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF), and member, Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), Mr. Akin W. Osuntoki, noted that “The regulations have helped in bridging capacity” in the oil and gas industry.
He pointed out that with effectiveness and efficiency in enforcement of the regulations, indigenous companies found all the space and material support to grow their capacities and capabilities.
According to him, “The role of the NCDMB has been very strategic,” and that the Board has been “a referee and gate-keeper.” Continuing, he added, “Not only is NCDMB able to chart in-country demand, it is able to chart regional demands, and this enables investors to plan and to expand.”
He stated further that today PETAN “is shaking hands across Africa,” a reference to Nigeria’s service companies now operating as international oil companies (IOCs) through creation of regional linkages.
Another industry chief, Dr. Timi Austen-Peters, chairman, Fabrication, Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) declared: “We are beneficiaries of the [NOGICD] Act.”
Dr Peters explained the many ways the effective implementation of the statute has fostered growth among his and other oil and gas companies. He said cost-savings arising from NCDMB’s approach in ease of doing business enabled to take advantage of business opportunities.
Managing director, Tenaris, Mrs. Rosario Osobase, said, “NCDMB is doing so much in mentoring other African countries” in local content practice. Dr. Pius Okigbo, Jnr, chairman, ICT, NCCF, echoed the views of the other industry chiefs on the successes of the Board.
Other speakers commended the management of the NCDMB for its Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS), which is aimed at creating industrial parks for companies engaged in the manufacture of equipment components, spare parts and tools required in oil and gas industry operations.
The yearly Conference ended with site visit to Standard Institute of Technology, a subsidiary of Standard Testing and Inspection Services Limited, Uyo.