Stakeholders in energy sector have commended the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for implementing the objectives of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGIC) Act, 2010.
The industry players gave the commendation during the just concluded Practical Nigerian Content Conference, held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The energy sector chief executives also subjected the oil and gas industry regulatory framework and the enabling statute, NOGIC Act, 2010, to critical evaluation.
The energy chiefs were specifically interested in how what is known in industry as ‘The seven Ministerial Regulations’ has impacted on oil and gas operations and, generally, how implementation of the Act has advanced objectives such as enhanced Nigerian content and value addition through sectoral and regional linkages.
All were in agreement with the explanation of a legal expert, Barrister Ilu Ozekhome, that “The regulations are a framework within which provisions of the Act could be enforced.” Preparatory work on the regulations had gone through several processes in which stakeholders had been fully engaged.
The stakeholders equally commended the management of the NCDMB for its Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS), which is aimed at creating industrial parks for companies engaged in the manufacture of equipment components, spare parts and tools required in the oil and gas industry operations.
Chairman, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF), and member, Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), Mr. Akin W. Osuntoki, noted that “the regulations have helped in bridging capacity” in the oil and gas industry.
He pointed out that with effectiveness and efficiency in enforcement of the regulations, indigenous companies found all the space and material support to grow their capacities and capabilities.
According to him, “The role of the NCDMB has been very strategic,” and that the Board has been “a referee and gate-keeper.” Continuing, he added, “Not only is NCDMB able to chart in-country demand, it is able to chart regional demands, and this enables investors to plan and to expand.”
He further said, “PETAN is shaking hands across Africa,” a reference to Nigeria’s service companies now operating as international oil companies (IOCs) through creation of regional linkages.
Another industry chief, Dr. Timi Austen-Peters, Chairman, Fabrication, Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) said, “We are beneficiaries of the NOGICD Act.” He explained that effective implementation of the statute has in many ways, fostered growth among his and other oil and gas companies.
He noted cost-savings arising from NCDMB’s approach in ease of doing business enabled to take advantage of business opportunities.
The Managing Director, Tenaris, Mrs. Rosario Osobase, said, “NCDMB is doing so much in mentoring other African countries” in local content practice. DR. Pius Okigbo, Jnr, Chairman, ICT, NCCF, echoed the views of the other industry chiefs on the successes of the Board.
On day three on the conference, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, advised indigenous operators and service companies in the oil and gas industry to identify with appropriate Sectoral Working Groups under the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) to be able to receive adequate attention on operational difficulties of whatever nature.
The Forum, established to “identify issues and responsibilities, and propose interventions that can address issues and harness opportunities,” has helped many indigenous companies to find their footing in the industry.
Wabote, who was responding to a question by a participant on how challenges confronting a member could be resolved, advised that any such business owners should not hesitate to approach the NCCF.