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Wabote Says, NCDMB’s Roadmap Yielding Results

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board has set a 10-year roadmap for the development of local content, indigenous capacity and skills. Its Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, unveiled the plan, saying the body will liaise with the National Assembly in its quest to amend the board’s Act.

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has put fundamentals in place for the attainment of its 10-year roadmap, which will enable the nation to start reaping the full benefits of its oil and gas resources, with clear linkage to other sectors of the economy.

Its Executive Secretary,  Simbi Kesiye Wabote, who stated this in Abuja, at the third quarterly briefing organised to keep stakeholders abreast of the activities and achievements of the board, said he was impressed by the accomplishments of the board within the two and half years he has spent as the helmsman.

He said one of the first frameworks the board put resources into was the development of the Nigerian Content 10-year strategic roadmap, adding that roadmap documents the short, medium and long-term targets aimed at increasing Nigerian Content performance from 28 per cent to 70 per cent by 2027.

He said: “The key rewards from the implementation of the 10-year roadmap are the creation of 300,000 jobs from industry activities and the retention of US$14billion in-country out of the US$20billionspent annually in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

“The 10-year-roadmap has five pillars. They are Technical Capability Development, Compliance and Enforcement, Enabling Business Environment, Organisation Capability and Sectoral and Regional Market Linkage. It has four enablers, namely Funding, Regulatory Environment, Collaboration and Stakeholders Engagement and Research and Development.”

On the Technical Capability pillar, Wabote said the board has “moved the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGAPS) from mere plans on paper to actual construction in two pilot locations – Odukpani in Cross River and Emeyal 1 in Ogbia Local Government of Bayelsa State. Each of the parks will create employment for 2000 persons when they are fully operational and will spur manufacturing of critical oil and gas equipment, tools and spare parts close to oil fields”.

He noted that the board was spearheading the Project 100 Initiative, pointing out that the project is a Federal Government’s initiative that targets genuine firms that are committed to developing the sector’s  local capacity and capability for job creation. He said the government would assist such firms by helping them access funds locally and internationally. He said the board has identified 60 oil and gas start-ups, which are being sponsored through the deployment of special interventions for their incubation, maturation and growth into world class service companies. This intervention would include capacity building, funding and access to market, he said.

Wabote also confirmed that the board has  started International Certification programme for 20 marine personnel, saying the cadets were already on board foreign vessels for training in 12 months, which would qualify them to be awarded the Certificate of Competence (COC), with which they can work in the Nigerian waters and overseas. The programme will address the deficit of trained cadets in the maritime and oil and gas industries and reduce the dependence on foreign personnel in  marine operations.

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He said the board’s provision of equity investment to catalyse the establishment of 5,000barrels per day modular refinery by Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited in Ibigwe, Imo State and in the 12,000 barrels per day Hydroskimming Modular refinery by Azikel Petroleum Limited at Obunagha, Gbarain, Bayelsa State, were as envisaged.

”The Waltersmith refinery is on track for completion by May 2020, while the Azikel Refinery would be completed in 2021. We expect about 300,000 litres of diesel daily in addition to various volumes of naphtha, kerosene, and fuel oil from Waltersmith, while Azikel will produce about 1.5million litres or 50 trucks of petrol daily, including 170,000litres of diesel and other products,” he added.

Modular refinery projects have huge prospects for job creation, value retention, petroleum products availability and the development of in-country capability that fit perfectly with our vision to serve as a catalyst for the development of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, he said.

On the second pillar, Compliance and Enforcement, the NCDMB chief said the Board has put in place seven firms to assist in carrying out specific and specialised monitoring and compliance functions in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the industry. The Board also deployed chartered accounting firms to carry out forensic audit of Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) remittances.

Wabote said the forensic audit started last November, saying the outcome has revealed huge amounts of non-remittances from operating and service companies, saying at the moment, some companies have owned up to their indebtedness and have started addressing their infractions. “A few companies have remained recalcitrant and we have concluded plans to hand over such companies to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution,” he said.

On the pillar for Enabling Business Environment, Wabote stated that the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) NCDMB signed with the Nigeria LNG Limited, International Operating Companies under the aegis of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) and Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) have helped to shorten the NCDMB interface on the tendering cycle in the oil and gas Industry from 36 months to nine months.  “it has also enhanced broad compliance with the requirements of the Nigerian Content Act and led to significant reduction in the unit cost of oil production in Nigeria.

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“During the last review held in May this year, major operating companies, including SPDC/SNEPCo, Chevron, Total E&P and First E&P, all rated NCDMB very high on the implementation of the SLA,” he said.

On funding, Wabote said NCDMB has disbursed US$160million out of the US$200million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) to qualified firms, as part of our efforts to provide credit for Nigerian oil and gas service firms and community contractors with single digit interest rate and one year moratorium.

He said the board is working to promote relevant and reliable data and statistics to establish a collaborative framework with the National Bureau of Statistics. ”We intend to shortly commission specific data collection projects to counter some of the unverifiable data being bandied around our national discourse,” he said.

He assured that the Board would collaborate  with the Ninth National Assembly to complete the amendment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, so as to extend it to key sectors, such as Power, Construction and Information Communication Technology.

He advised against the creation of multiple regulators of Local Content in Nigeria, noting: “NCDMB can modify its template to suit other sectors. In our view, this is the prudent way to expand and entrench local content regime in Nigeria.”

Source: The Nation

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