The saturation diving vessel, christened DSV Vinnice is valued at $170 million and is equipped for shallow and deep water operations and can be used for construction, repair and maintenance of oil-rigs and other offshore naval constructions.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in Lagos, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) Dr. Ernest Nwapa described the acquisition as another affirmation that indigenous oil servicing companies have developed capacity to acquire and operate hi-tech assets and could participate in every segment of the oil and gas industry notwithstanding the challenges.
According to him, the emergence of a new breed of Nigerian investors and the quantum of investments they are making have erased any doubts that government and the people of Nigeria were resolute with the implementation of the policy.
Restating that Nigerian Content was a national agenda, Nwapa added that the Federal Government has started to extend the implementation of the policy to the power and information technology sectors following the huge success recorded in the oil and gas industry.
He credited President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke for providing a conducive environment for the successes recording in the implementation process, noting that signing the Nigerian Content Bill into law unleashed the potentials of Nigerians entrepreneurs. “When President Jonathan signed the Act in 2010, he set Nigerian entrepreneurs free,” he added.
Speaking further, the Executive Secretary stated that real Nigerian Content accomplishment would only come when vessels such as DSV Vinnice are constructed in Nigeria, expressing hope that any other such vessel to be acquired by a Nigerian investor will be outfitted at the Naval Dockyard Lagos and some of the components manufactured in-country.
He assured that the Board was working with the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) to ensure that any major asset acquired by a Nigerian investor gets deployed in the industry as doing otherwise will negatively affect the banks that funded the acquisition as well as make it difficult for other companies to get similar credit from Nigerian banks.
Nwapa recalled that the Board made ownership of assets a key plank of implementation because it provided the opportunity for exposing the technology to other Nigerians.
He also announced that the Board will henceforth make it a requirement for all contracting entities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to adopt a faculty or department in any Nigerian university and develop a programme that allow the students to learn on the company’s assets as a means of bridging the gap between universities and the oil and gas industry.
Giving his welcome address, the Chairman of Petrolog Group, Dr. Joseph Ebuh described the Nigerian Content Act as the greatest boost to the company’s growth. He stated that “since the Act came into effect, we have been emboldened to take giant steps and risks to meet existing demand.”
He commended the NCDMB for its implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, which according to him has created opportunities for indigenous companies to thrive.
In his comments, the Managing Director of First Bank Nigeria, Mr. Bisi Onasanya confirmed that the bank supported Petrolog in the acquisition of the DSV Vinnice, affirming the bank’s readiness to support infrastructural development and local content.
Delivering a goodwill message, the Group General Manager, NAPIMS, Engineer Jonathan Okeys described the vessel as a welcome addition to the contracting pool, especially at a time industry operations were becoming more complex and moving into the deep offshore.
He assured that NAPIMS would develop a special contracting scheme to support any Nigerian contractor that invests on the back of the Nigerian Content Act.
Also speaking, the President of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Engineer Emeka Ene commended NCDMB for being instrumental to most of the investments made by local companies since the Nigerian Content Act came into being.