We Will Continue To Build Local Capacity – Obah

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chieduChiedu Obah, the General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, Shell companies in Nigeria, has assured stakeholders in the industry of its continued support for capacity development in the country.

According to him, Shell companies in Nigeria will continue to support local manufacturers and vendors to bring them up to international standards. “In doing this, we’re looking to see manufacturers, suppliers who will make their mark on the international scene,” he said.

SNEPCo helped to create the first generation of Nigerian deep-water oil and gas engineers and service providers when it commenced production at Bonga field in 2005, Nigeria’s first oil and gas project in more than 1,000 metres of water. Today, 90 percent of Bonga’s core offshore staff are Nigerians.

SNEPCo has also led the way in providing financial empowerment and facilitating the transfer of knowledge and competences from global offshore service providers to local firms in exploration and production activities.

To Obah, local content is really about how we develop Nigerians in country capacity and increase participation of Nigerian companies and the use of Nigerian goods and services in our operations. He said that Shell view Nigerian content development as a way of creating a sustainable source of supply that is close to us.

“So we see as something that help us to develop our supply chain, our cycle time are faster, we have closer sources to the goods and services that we need. So we actively promote Nigerian Content,” he said.

Shell has its success stories in promoting local content, one of them according to Obah is a company called Egba Split Clamps. “They are manufacturers of clamps, we identify them in 2009 and over the years we have supported them and their products are certified for use in our operations and we have now begin to purchase them and use in our operations,” he said.

Realising that funding is very important for business especially in this clime where interest rates are high. Shell have two contractors funding scheme, one is the Kobo fund that creates opportunities for small contractors – mostly small scale contractors to access funding to support their contracts and purchase orders with Shell, then we have the larger Shell contractor fund, it is a $4 billion fund that supports contractors that are handling bigger projects.

“Over the years that we have operated this funds, we have had more than 200 contractors benefit from it but funding scheme only try to address the problems, it doesn’t seems bring the kind of solution that the industry needs. So we work with other industries to try and find much better solutions, for example we have the NCDF which the industry has contributed over the years which runs into 100s of millions of dollars. Then one of the things we want to do is to collaborate and see how we can create a better access or improve contractor’s access to that fund because it helps Nigerian content development,” he said.

Obah said for manufacturers to make success, they have to become visible, promote the goods and services that they make, and even more importantly look at the standard because the technical standard for oil and gas are very high. “Look at those standard and work towards making your products meet those standards, and I also encourage them to participate in events because it create the platform for people to show case what they have,” he said.

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