The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) yesterday disclosed plans to commence the construction of a low-cost manufacturing hub for equipment components and spare parts used in the oil and gas industry soon.
Located at Ilaje, Ilaje Local Government Area of the State, the facility is one of six being built in different parts of the country under NCDMB’s Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGAPS) in furtherance of its corporate mandate to develop in-country capacity in the oil and gas industry. NOGAPS, at Odukpani, Cross River State and at Emeyal, Bayelsa State, are at 99 per cent completion.
NCDMB’s Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Akintunde Adelana, told a gathering of top government functionaries, including Ondo State Acting Governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, industrialists and investors as well as representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU), that the agency was conceived to provide “a springboard to galvanise different sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
He explained that the oil and gas industrial parks, developed by the Board in conjunction with Shell Petroleum Development Company, ExxonMobil and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (with particular reference to NOGAPS, Emeyal 1 and NOGAPS, Odukpani) consist of manufacturing shop floors and factories, warehouses, training centres, mini estates, fire stations, truck parking and holding spaces, hostels and administrative blocks. They are intended to eliminate importation of equipment components and spares required in oil industry operations.
Speaking on Day one of the ongoing “Develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit,” in Akure, the state capital, Adelana stated that in line with the core mandate of the Board, which revolves around “domesticating and domiciling value-adding activities in the oil and gas industry,” regulations on utilisation of home-grown resources, that is, local manpower, technical services of indigenous firms, goods manufactured locally as well as raw materials available in the country, have been rigorously enforced.
With specific reference to Ondo State, he emphasised that NCDMB wants “to align with the State Government to ensure that her dreams and aspirations come to reality.”
He said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centres have been built in parts of the State to facilitate digital education and thus equip the youth with appropriate skills for gainful employment and self-development.
On the Board’s role in facilitating access to energy, Adelana, who represented the Board’s Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi KesiyeWabote, said an effective way of doing it is by building capacities, which NCDMB has done consistently since its creation in 2010 through trainings for manpower development, equity participation in companies such as; Waltersmith Modular Refineries, blending plants and cylinder manufacturing companies, as well as strategic interventions in funding to indigenous companies through the Nigeria Content Development Fund, and sundry initiatives.
Earlier in a welcome address, Aiyedatiwa, expressed appreciation to the Local Organising Committee of the Summit, esteemed international partners, being the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and European Union (EU), “for their invaluable contribution and support,” industrialists and investors as well as sponsors, namely, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Toyota, JETOUR and Green Energy.
He assured industrialists and prospective investors that Ondo is resource-rich and investment-friendly, noting that the Develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit “aims to attract US$2 billion investment” to the State. Recalling successes attained since the earlier edition tagged Develop Ondo 1.0 Investment Summit, he said, “2.0 symbolises our drive for continuous improvement and innovation,” adding that the State “is on the cusp of a remarkable industrial revolution.”
He drew attention to investment opportunities in the ongoing “development of an inland gas corridor,” Port Ondo Project, and the Ondo Industrial City, which is envisaged to have a free trade zone status.
The NDDC, which is Platinum Sponsor of the Summit, assured the Government of Ondo State of its continued support in its development efforts. The Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, also noted that the Niger Delta would need to plan ahead for a life without revenues from oil as international oil companies are steadily divesting from Nigeria. According to him, “NDDC is looking beyond oil,” noting that if present-day leaders failed to plan and utilise resources judiciously, future generations would demand explanation.
Emphasising the depth of his conviction on the need for collaboration with stakeholders, he said, “I will ensure my Commission is always on the same page with our Governments on development matters.” He assured that Budget 2024 of the Commission would be prepared with participation of all state governments within the areas covered by its mandate to ensure that only projects that matter to the people are captured.