The Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) and local contractors have expressed satisfaction with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) for sustaining its local content initiative geared at assisting industries in boosting productivity.

The Chairman of PETAN, Emeka Ene, and representatives of some local companies bared their minds at Agip’s vendors’ exhibition in Port Harcourt recently. The contractors include Topline Pipeline and Process Engineers, Elshcon Nigerian Limited, Lamesco Limited among others.

Spokesman of Topline Engineers, Opeyi Ogunsanya, said the initiative has enabled the firm to carry out hot-tap jobs without any record of accident, and as well, empowered several Nigerians.

While commending the oil company for sustaining the initiative of encouraging local contractors to take advantage of the local content act, Ene advocated for patronage of local companies who have proven records. He argued that value added local content reduces cost and explained that, for major projects to succeed in a low oil price environment, cost must be considered.

Ene said, “There are 100 of proven Nigeria companies who have been working, who are experienced and willing to do the works, foreign companies does at a very competitive price, so it makes sense that these companies be given proper priorities within the context of Local Content act.

“For major projects to work within 40 dollars per barrel of oil, you must include proven Nigerian companies to do the work, it makes common sense because, it cost more to bring in foreigners to do works here.”

He called for more focus on Nigerian companies, noting that it would not only create employment, generate revenue but would rapidly improve the economy.

Vice Chairman and Managing Director of NOAC, Massimo Insulla, said the company has continued to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the NOGICD Act by issuing internal guidelines that makes it mandatory for all departments involved in the contracting processes to liaise with its Nigeria Content department in order to cross check full adherence to the provision of the Act.

Represented by the General Manager, District of NOAC, Paolo Carnevale, Insulla said the firm’s commitment to the development and integration of local capacity in its operations in executing the pre and post NOGICD Act, has not been without hindrances especially, in the area of negative publications and litigation.

He however, vowed that the firm would not be distracted but would continue to increase the Nigerian content in its operations in the country, assuring that it would also, continue to respect all laws and guidelines related to the procurement processes for award of contracts.

In his presentation, President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (PHCCIMA), Emi Membere-Otaji called for a maritime roundtable for appropriate coordination of the sector, stressing that presently, there are babble of uncoordinated voices in the sector.

The PHCCIMA President, noted that the roundtable should be made up of stakeholders from the private and public sectors aimed at mapping out ways on how things should be done and as well, advice government on the improvement of the sector.

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