Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) went global yesterday with Nigerian Content Advocacy, when he addressed delegates to the African Oil Week (AOW) in Cape Town, South Africa at the start of the African Local Content Forum.
African Local Content Forum is an innovative inclusion in the bouquet of AOW plenaries promoted by NCDMB and other partners to serve as a high profile platform for NOCs, International and Independents Oil Companies, Service Companies to generate single vision of future road-map for African Content within the global oil and gas sector.
Speaking on the topic, ‘How to Develop Funds for Local Content Development’, Wabote asserted that Nigerian Content Development Fund model is an attractive option for both upcoming and matured oil and gas jurisdictions in the African sub-region.
He outlined five key parameters required for sustainable local content practice, to wit, Regulatory Framework, Capacity Building, Gap Analysis, Research and Development, and Funding and provision of incentives.
“The importance of funding”, he said, “cannot be over-emphasized in any human endeavor”. Thus, he added “the authors of the Nigerian Content Act, in recognition of the importance of funding to the success of Nigerian Content, made a key provision for funding to deliver the key objectives of the law”.
The funding provision, he emphasized, is not only to enable the Board to carry out its functions as a regulator “without having to go round cap-in-hand to solicit for fund from operators”, but also to enable it develop capacities and capabilities in-country for increased value retention.
He argued that the success of the Nigerian Content Development Fund could be attributed to the following factors: A clear, unambiguous provision backed by law; a clear remittance framework, sufficient time for accretion, transparent and impactful utilization.
Regardless of his advocacy for the Nigerian model, Wabote sounded a caveat, “There is no ‘one size fits all’ in local content practice”. To succeed, countries need to adopt best practices, but it is useful to tweak them to suit local circumstances, he concluded. Earlier, Tony Paul, Chairman, Permanent Local Content Committee, Energy Sector for the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, who spoke on the topic “
Developing successful local content framework and policies to promote in-country value and shared prosperity” made the same point, “ there’s no perfect model”, countries must avoid “cut and paste” in designing their framework.