The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has no plans to relocate its headquarters from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to Abuja or Lagos, the Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote has said.
Members of the Ijaw Youth Council (Central Zone) staged a demonstration on Thursday at the Board’s headquarters over allegations that the Board had opened offices in Lagos and Abuja and was working to leave the state.
But the Executive Secretary who received a delegation of the IYC World Wide, led by its President, Barr Pereotubo Oweilami at the Board’s Headquarters on Tuesday dismissed the insinuation, describing it as “wild rumours and figments of some persons’ imaginations.”
He explained that the Board’s new corporate headquarters was nearing completion. “Our 17storey headquarters building project in Yenagoa has got to the 12th flour. It might end up being the tallest structure in the whole of the South-South and South-East when it is completed in 2018. How can we leave such a building and move to Abuja or Lagos?”
He added that the Board established liaison and zonal offices in key cities and oil producing states for operational efficiency, just like other federal agencies and state governments. “NCDMB is a federal institution and has stakeholders across the country and we need those offices to transact business effectively.”
Responding to the request by the IYC President for training and employment opportunities, Wabote promised that the Board will train youths from Ijaw extraction and other Niger Delta tribes in leadership and specialised skills, with a view to make them self-reliant.
He explained that employment opportunities in the oil and gas industry were limited, hence the need to train youths in other sectors of the economy like agriculture and construction. “The Federal Government is pushing actively for the diversification of the economy so that people can be employed in other areas. So do not just ask for training in the oil and gas industry but also in other sectors.”
The Executive Secretary stressed that the Board’s trainings were informed by gap analysis, which reveal skills and capacities needed by the oil and gas industry. He stated further that 60 percent of the Board’s training budget and efforts are now dedicated to providing beneficiaries with specialised skills and international certifications that will guarantee them employment in Nigeria and beyond. He noted that 20 percent is applied to enhancing the skills of personnel who are already employed while 20 percent is used to provide general trainings and soft skills to beneficiaries.
He also challenged the IYC national leadership to manage their zonal organs and curtail their overbearing tendencies.
On request by the youth group for the Board to convert drivers, security guards and janitorial personnel to permanent staff, Wabote explained that the standard practice was for organisations to source such personnel from manpower providers, adding that the Board’s was complaint with Federal Government’s policies.