When experts brainstormed on oil and gas
Category: Star feature Written by Hamisu Muhammad who was in Yenagoa
Recently, a conference which examined various issues in the oil and gas sector held in Bayelsa State
On Tuesday November 20th , the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) held its practical Nigerian Content Conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The conference which attracted almost all the leaders in the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, became an avenue where achievements, issues, problems as well as challenges in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act were discussed.
This year’s conference which held from November 20th to 22nd emphasized the real achievements in the area of the implementations of the Nigerian Content policy by the operators in the industry.
The Practical Nigerian Content Conference had in attendance the Governor of the host state, Chief Henry Serieke Dickson, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Engr. Andy Yakubu, the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Osten Olurusola and the Managing Directors of the six international operating companies, is considered to be one of the who is who gathering in the industry
At the opening ceremony, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke said the Nigerian Content implementation has attracted foreign direct investments worth over $500m (About N80 billion) in the manufacturing of equipment components for the Oil and Gas Industry.
According to the Minister, the equipment components manufacturing initiative of the Board, is an effective way to drive industrialization of the Nigerian economy, and is already creating over 1,000 skilled jobs in Nigeria.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa explained that the initiative which mandates original equipment manufacturers to partner with their representatives to set up facilities to manufacture or assemble equipment components in Nigeria will also ensure the retention of spend within the economy on critical industry equipment such as valves, pumps, electrical and instrumentation products.
She expressed confidence that the initiative will ensure that about 30 original equipment manufacturers will have set up fully in Nigeria within the next five years.
Alison-Madueke described the Nigerian Content Act as the most important development in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry in the past few decades, noting that the impact of the Act was being felt in several sectors of the economy.
She said, “Nigerians now own land, swamp, jack up rigs and some proportion of deep offshore rigs. More Nigerians are acquiring Anchor Handling Tugs, Dynamic Positioning Platform Vessels, Line Handling Tugs and other larger vessels otherwise called category 2 vessels.”
In his opening remark, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Engr. Andy Yakubu said the participation of Nigerian Content in the industry, especially in the upstream, has substantially increased from a merger 10 per cent before the enactment of the law to more than 30 per cent, sitting example with the recent USAN Deep Offshore Field development.
Yakubu pledged to partner with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in growing Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry to the 70 per cent target set by the Federal Government, especially in the complex deep offshore.
He added, “These percentages are even higher and in some cases have attained 100 per cent, for example the Utorogu Gas Plant Expansion Project.”
The GMD listed other projects with high Nigerian Content value to include the OB3 Pipeline Project, Escravos Lagos Pipeline Phase 2, the Aba Depot and Okirika Jetty Rehabilitation Project.
He explained that windows of opportunity to grow Nigerian Content exist in the upstream, midstream and downstream segments of the oil and gas value chain to grow Nigerian Content.
Yakubu also advised Nigerians to set up medium sized companies in both exploration and production in areas like well services engineering, measurement, mud and logging engineering services.
According to the GMD, the monetization of the country’s natural gas endowments, presented other opportunities for growing Nigerian Content, just like the revamping/rehabilitation of existing downstream infrastructure
In his keynote address, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Ernest Nwapa stated that for Nigeria to be a great oil producing nation, stakeholders must make conscious efforts to develop a robust supply chain which will includes facilities, own assets and stimulate local manufacturing.
According to him, there was a compelling need to create legacies from mega industry projects, so that long after contracts have been concluded, Nigerians can be productively engaged and use capacities developed to service other sectors of the economy.
He further canvassed the adoption of a developmental model which focuses on creating in-country value, and building a viable industry as against just extracting and selling crude oil to earn revenue for government.
Nwapa warned that any slippage in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act will reverse the gains already recorded like the patronage of the SCC Pipe Mill and lead to disuse of facilities and loss of jobs.
One of the greatest achievements of this year’s event was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, and the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria on a Pupilage/Internship Programme.
The MoU aimed at creating employment for young and qualified graduates as part of the conditions for winning oil and gas contracts by oil companies operating in the country.
The two organizations signed the agreement dubbed-NCDMB-PETAN Capacity Building Internship Program during the event.
The Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa signed for the Board, while PETAN Chairman, Mr. Emeka Ene signed for the service companies association.
Under the MoU, PETAN companies will make commitments in the form of plans that they will recruit qualified Nigerian graduates.
The NCDMB will issue certificates to the service companies on receipt of the plans and the commitments will count alongside other variables in the evaluation of bids by service companies for industry contracts.
Thereafter, NCDMB and PETAN will recruit qualified Nigerian graduates and expose them to various training and skills development workshops and on-the-job training, to prepare them to work in the course of the contracts and gain employment.
PETAN companies will then absorb the trainees once they win the contracts and retain them after the internship phase based on their performance.
Other industry big wigs that witnessed the MoU included the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Osten Oluronsola, the Managing Director of Exxonmobil Nigeria, Mr. Mark Ward, the Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Andrew Fawthrop and the Managing Director of Total E &P, Mr. Guy Maurice.
The big question here is was the massive attendance of such distinguished operators and industry officials going to stop the billions of dollar jobs from going out of the country, and leaving millions of our unemployed youths in their present condition, only time can tell.