WE’RE POISED TO GROWING NIGERIAN CONTENT- KENTEBE
Contrary to opinions from some quarters that the Nigerian Content Act of 2010 has not impacted positively on Nigerians since inception, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Denzi Amagbe Kentebe has disputed the claim, insisting that the Board has lived up to expectation.
Kentebe stated this recently in Port Harcourt while delivering a keynote address at a 3-day workshop of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
According to him, NCDMB has within its short period of existence asserted its position as tonic to turn around the once foreign dominated oil and gas industry to enable Nigerians participate actively in the oil and gas subsector.
He enumerated some of the achievements of NCDMB as, human capital development, in which the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Efurun, Delta State and Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron in Akwa Ibom State, all in Niger Delta have been upgraded to train manpower in line with international standards in the oil and gas industry.
The Executive Secretary also said that about 5500 Nigerians have been trained in special skills and attached to specific projects in the oil and gas sector since 2010, courtesy of the Nigerian Content Act.
Kentebe equally said that over 1000 Nigerians have been trained as Geoscientists, Environmental Remediation Specialists, Machinists, Artisans, Underwater Welders and Cadets within the period under review.
He noted that Niger Delta indigenes constitute about 50 percent of the beneficiaries in these schemes.
In a chat with the Chairman/CEO of Oilserv, Engr Emeka Okwuosa, he expressed reservation that the Nigerian Content Act has achieved enough since the inception of the law four years ago. He attributed the lull to the inability of the FG to create an enabling environment by providing funds for local engineers.
He lamented that the interest rate of obtaining loans from Nigerian banks is still very high, thereby discouraging Nigerian engineers from accessing it.
Okwuosa also took a swipe at the Nigerian engineers whom he said have not been ‘pushful’ to tap from the provisions of the Nigerian Content Act, thereby leaving their foreign counterparts to dominate the oil and gas industry in the country.
Lending his voice to the issue, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Oilserv, Engr Innocent Nwokolo said despite the effort of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) and Oilserv in creation of the Nigerian Content Act, local operators have not been fairly treated in its implementation.
Admitting that the process is still in its incubating stage, he urged the FG to review the National Gas Masterplan to enable local operators have greater share of the business.
Nwokolo boasted that Oilserv has demonstrated that local operators can compete favourably with their counterparts elsewhere by driving effectively one of the largest gas projects, OB3 in the country. He challenged the Federal Government to provide more support for the Nigerian Content Operators and watch them perform wonders.
Earlier the President of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr Isaac Olorunfemi had asked for partnership with NCDMB to reposition engineering practice in the country and thanked the Executive Secretary, Mr Kentebe for coming.