IYC Central Zones apologizes for protest against NCDMB

…NCDMB, BYSG to build IPP

The leadership of the Ijaw Youth Congress (Central Zone) has apologized for staging a demonstration against the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, over unfounded allegations that the Board had moved its core operations to Abuja and Lagos and was taking other actions inimical to the state’s interests.

Youths from the IYC Central Zone, numbering over 100 had invaded the NCDMB headquarters at Opolo on August 31st. They pulled down part of the perimeter fence and disrupted work, alleging also that the headquarters building project had been slowed work deliberately.

Chairman, IYC Central Zone, Barr. Tare Porri who led the demonstration returned to the Board on Monday on a courtesy visit and apologized for the group’s ill-advised conduct. He explained that their action was not targeted at the Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote, as the issues predated his appointment in September 2016.

Porri, who recalled that the IYC Central Zone had worked cordially with the Board over the years, averred that “if the Abuja and Lagos offices are for administrative purposes, they should be maintained. We are only opposed to branch offices, which will weaken the operations of the head office.”

The IYC lead also pleaded with the Board to accelerate work on the Polaku pipemill project and the Oil and Gas Park project, being developed in Bayelsa State, as the projects will employ thousands of youths during construction and operation phases.

He also sought the Board’s assistance to enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from the Niger Delta states access the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, so they could grow capacities and win industry contracts.

The IYC leader further requested collaboration on various capacity building initiatives, including a planned workshop on the processes of setting up and running modular refineries, as a strategy of dissuading youths from illegal refining.

In his response, the Executive Secretary accepted the apology from the IYC and charged the group to protect and provide an enabling environment for the Board, being that it is the only federal establishments with its headquarters in the state. “IYC must work to attract investments and prove that citizens of the state are peace loving.”

Wabote reiterated that the Board established a liaison office in Abuja to support its interaction with key arms of government and relevant agencies while the Lagos office is to help effectively monitor oil and gas companies, many of which have their facilities in the city.

He explained that the Polaku pipemill project would be developed as a private investment and the Board’s role was limited to providing primary infrastructure to catalyze the project and guarantee industry patronage when completed. He revealed that the Board had received a fresh interest from an investor, after the first two companies that showed interest in the past failed to concretize their investment plans.

The Executive Secretary also stated that the Board was working progressively on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park and was partnering with the Bayelsa State Government to build a 25 megawatts independent power plant which will supply electricity to the park located at Emeyal, Ogbia Local Government Area, the government house, state owned hospital, NCDMB new headquarters and the Bayelsa airport. “We are developing it on the back of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company’s Zabazaba deepwater project and the design has been completed.”

He added, “We are working to complete our headquarters building by December 2018 and if we can have it powered by an IPP, companies will set up offices in our building and we will change the narrative.”

The Executive Secretary also promised to support the IYC with the planned workshop on modular refineries, noting that the Board works with any group that seeks to add value to the society.

NCDMB sponsors NUJ’s training Programme

…Donates 200 chairs

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has sponsored a training programme for the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State Council, as part of its human capacity building initiatives.

The theme of the training was “promoting local participation in the oil, gas and maritime sectors: tasks before the media,” and it featured presentations from the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, a communication teacher and a public relations expert.

The Board also used the opportunity of the workshop to donate 200 chairs to the NUJ secretariat.

The General Manager, Corporate Services and Logistics, NCDMB, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu who represented the Executive Secretary commended the media practitioners for their support to the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act and assured them of the Board’s continued collaboration.

According to him, “the Board has partnered with NUJ in many ways in the past and this is because we see NUJ as partners in progress.”

Halilu charged members of the union to continue propagating the Local Content policy of the Federal government, adding that the Board needs the media to disseminate its programmes and successes recorded in the implementation process.

Responding, the State Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade John Angese thanked the Board for its philanthropic gesture, assuring that members of the Union will embark on developmental journalism to further publicize activities of the Board and the Federal Government.

Bayelsa Govt pledges support to NCDMB

The Bayelsa State Government will cooperate and support the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to succeed with its initiatives and implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, says Governor Seriake Dickson.

He spoke at the 2017 Succession Planning Workshop, organised in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) for its contractors, and described the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote as a competent oil and gas professional and worthy ambassador of the state.

The Governor charged indigenes of Bayelsa state and other oil industry stakeholders to take advantage of Board’s programmes, particularly the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund). He noted that access to funding is a major constraint to the success of most businesses, adding that “this special Fund with affordable interest rates is a wonderful initiative and I urge our oil and gas businessmen to take advantage of it.”

He assured that the state government will work with the Board, NAOC and other developmental partners to change the negative narrative of the state on insecurity and under development.

On the Board’s oil and gas parks scheme, one of which is being developed at Emeyal 1 in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Dickson stressed that the project was not in competition with the state’s industrial park venture, but a complimentary investment.

He also urged NAOC to ensure the patronage of oil and gas service companies owned by Bayelsa indigenes in its projects, particularly in the development of the Zabazaba deepwater project.

 

In his presentation, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB commended NAOC for building the capacity of Small and Medium Scale enterprises (SMEs) in the area of business continuity, maintaining that development of SMEs was a sure way of contributing to the growth of the economy.

According to him, “A well-managed enterprise running in perpetuity will ensure that the gains of local content practice are not reversed with the demise of the business founder.”

Dwelling on the NCI Fund, Engr. Wabote described it as the first funding arrangement dedicated for the growth of the oil and gas industry.

He restated that the size of the Fund is 200 million US dollars or about N72 billion, managed by the Bank of Industry (BOI). While urging stakeholders to take advantage of the Fund, the Executive Secretary explained that “loans under the manufacturing, asset acquisition, and project financing categories will have a maximum single obligor threshold of 10 million US dollars and attract eight percent interest rate per annum.” He added that “the maximum single obligor threshold for community oil and gas contactors shall be Twenty Million Naira only, with an interest rate of five percent per annum. The tenor for any facility shall not exceed five years.”

In his welcome address, Vice Chairman, NAOC, Mr. Massimo Insulla stated that the company had spent over $5.4bn to grow Nigerian Content in the last six years.

He added that the company was implementing a number of projects including the Zabazaba project, Okpai independent power project phase 2 and the on-going feasibility for the construction of a brand new 150,000 barrel of crude oil per day refinery. He listed other contributions by the company to include support for the refurbishment of Port Harcourt refinery, efficiency of the National Grid and alternative energy mix.

FG targets 100% Nigerian Content in 2027

…charges Board on noncompliance mechanisms  

… illegal refiners to get reformatory trainings  

 The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) must ensure that the Nigerian oil and gas industry is able to produce all its needs by year 2027, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has directed. 

The Minister set the target in Owerri, Imo State at the just concluded Nigerian Content Workshop organised by New Planets Projects in conjunction with the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream.  

He said the Federal Government expects that over the next 10 years, the Nigeria oil and gas industry, in collaboration with foreign investors would have developed in-country capacities and capabilities to produce all its offshore platforms locally. “I would like to see the Japanese coming; I would like to see the Koreans come here; I would like to see collaborative efforts that will make our oil industry produce everything that we need.” 

He acknowledged the giant strides made by the Board in seven years, commending particularly the excellent achievements of the current Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote, whom he credited for working with energy and passion and meeting several targets set for the Board in the past one year. 

Noting that Nigerian Content achievement in engineering services had hit 80 percent, the Minister insisted that performance in offshore aspects of the industry was still substantially low and charged international and local operating oil companies to collaborate with the NCDMB to achieve the new target. 

Kachikwu, described Nigerian Content as the future of the industry. According to him, “It doesn’t matter how much money we make, how much gas we produce or alternative fossils we produce; if we do not ensure that a lot of that is captured locally in terms of benefits, we have no stake.” 

Commenting on NCDMB’s strategies for addressing noncompliance with provisions of the Nigerian Content Act by some companies, the Minister said the focus should not be on identifying defaulters and penalizing them. According to him, NCDMB should develop corrective measures and understand why some companies fail to comply. “The Board needs to develop corrective visitation programmes to institutions that have not complied. Sit down with them and do an audit of the issues and jointly develop models, giving specific timelines for delivery and create incentives for those who comply and  penalties for those who blatantly refuse to comply.” 

On industry’s capacity building initiatives, the Minister directed NCDMB, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) to collaborate and develop a plan for training youths who are involved in pipeline vandalism, illegal refining and other illicit activities in the oil and gas industry. The training programme will focus on improving their skillsets and getting them to embrace productive activities. He said, “We need to find a middle-level specialized system of training people in the oil industry, a system that is not necessarily tied to degrees. We need to capture a lot of those in the hinterlands who have finished WAEC or their first diploma and don’t know where to go to but have some unique skillsets. We need to bring them to finishing schools.” 

Kachikwu also directed the NCDMB, PTDF and PTI to use existing industry facilities in Port Harcourt and Kaduna to carry out the planned trainings and other bespoke capacity building programmes for industry stakeholders. “We have to provide local competency trainings, relying on support from oil companies in terms of investment and overseas faculty.”  

New wave of Nigerian Content commences

to retain $14bn industry spend

…create 300,000 jobs

The next wave of Nigerian Content implementation has started and it targets in-country retention of $14bn out of the $20billion yearly industry spend and creation of 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Another key target is growing in-country value retention in the sector from the current 26 percent to 70 percent within the next 10 years.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote stated this on Tuesday at Owerri, Imo State, at the 2nd edition of Nigerian Content Workshop organised by New Planets Projects. He added that the new phase of implementation was underpinned by the 10-year strategic road- map developed recently by the Board.

He said the new targets will be achieved using a two-pronged approach, which includes creating enabling environment to attract investors and protecting existing and new local investment by effective compliance oversight and monitoring. It will also “require deepening of local content practice in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors of our oil and gas industry.”

Dwelling on the Board’s 10-year road map, Wabote said the successful attainment will be hinged on five pillars, namely Technical Capability Development, Compliance and Enforcement, Enabling Business Environment, Organisation Capability and Sectorial and Regional Market Linkage.

He said the Board will seek to extend and deepen in-country technical capability through the  completion of five oil and gas parks in Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa and Imo States; establishment of two additional pipe mills; local manufacture of LPG Gas Cylinders; collaboration to establish a dry dock facility in-country to cater for the maintenance of big vessels, including LNG carriers; local fabrication of modular refineries and demonstration of 50 percent FPSO Integration capability in 3-4 years and 100 percent integration within 10 years.

As part of the road map, he said the Board’s compliance and enforcement monitoring efforts will be extended to all operators and service providers in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

The Executive Secretary underscored the Board’s efforts to create an enabling Business Environment that encourages investment. “A key element is the reduction in aggregate cycle time of the Board’s touch points in the industry contracting process. We will also co-develop and implement service level agreements (SLAs) on processes that interface with operators and other external stakeholders like we recently executed with NLNG.”

He identified the need for sectorial and regional market linkages to increase industry contribution to the National GDP and facilitate access of Nigerian-made goods and services to regional markets.

He said the Board will also pursue regional marketing of some of the infrastructures being developed such as the FPSO Integration facility while sectorial linkages to other sectors such as power, ICT, construction, mines and steel will continue.

Responding to questions on the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF), Wabote said the Board decided to create a transparent platform through which contributors can access the Fund for capacity building, before sanctioning companies that default in remitting one percent value of their contracts to the NCDF.

Declaring the workshop open, Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha stated that the Nigerian Content Policy has contributed positively to the development of the national economy. He regretted that the policy was introduced after 50 years of oil exploration and production in Nigeria and the nation lost opportunities to maximize the benefits from the sector in the early years.

Okorocha stated that Imo State had the second largest gas deposits in the country, which can meet the power needs of the nation. He persuaded investors to take advantage of the abundant gas resources in state to site various kinds of industries. He averred that the process of extracting gas from the state was cost effective in comparism to other locations, being that the terrain in Imo state was mostly onshore.

He also assured that investors will enjoy a bouquet of incentives and enjoy the peaceful environment the State Government was working hard to maintain.

Oil Industry to get Research & Development Council-NCDMB

A research and development council will be constituted for the oil and gas industry and it will integrate research initiatives of stakeholders and steer them towards achieving tangible and beneficial outcomes, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has said.

He stated this on Monday in Lagos at the maiden Nigerian Oil and Gas Research and Development Fair and Conference, adding that members of the council will include representatives of operating and service companies, relevant agencies of government, the academia, Nigerian University Commission and top research centres in the country.

 

According to the Executive Secretary, research and development (R&D) efforts by stakeholders needs to offer real value and relevance to the oil and gas industry so that companies would support and fund them.

He said the Board would change the framework of executing and funding research in the industry, noting that R&D would henceforth form part of deliverables on projects. “R&D will be treated like capacity building initiatives and we will close gaps. The Board will fund good research projects; companies could also be asked to take up research ideas and fund. We want quick wins and such research must solve problems and get to deployment stage.”

He assured that oil industry’s research interventions would be very focussed and devoid of distractions. “We will deal with this the same way the oil and gas industry deals with its business.”

Speaking further, Wabote said “the Board will establish research clusters covering engineering studies, geological and physical studies, local material substitution and technology adaptation in four universities in Nigeria.

He added, “we will utilise Fairs like this to identify top-5 research presentations for development finance consideration by the operators and other government agencies. Already, we have selected five foremost researchers in the oil and gas sector that shall be awarded a pilot grant of N56million. This will assist in developing their inventions further to commercially acceptable standard products.”

 

The Executive Secretary identified R&D as one of the key elements needed for an enduring Local Content development, listing other elements to include the existence of regulatory framework and capacity building. Other elements are structured capacity building, periodic gap analysis and provision of funding and incentives.

He regretted that Nigeria currently face many pressing R&D challenges, including inadequate facilities and infrastructure, weak framework for protection of intellectual property; lack of funding and low technological development and inadequate educational infrastructure and curriculum to support and foster innovation in our higher institutions.

Other challenges include inability to retain most of the best brains in-country and inability to employ or re-integrate those sponsored by government on scholarships to apply knowledge acquired.

 

In his speech, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, represented by his Senior Technical Adviser, Mr. Gbite Adeniji, stated that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry had operated for about 60 years but adequate attention was previously not paid to developing local research capabilities.

He commended the Board for taking steps to implement aspects of the Nigerian Content Act that have do with R&D.

“This is important because of the huge importance of R&D in any growing economy; the amount of capital flight from the R&D activities and enormous benefits of domesticating industry research and the impact on other critical sectors of the economy,” he said.

 

Chairman Senate Committee on Upstream, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who represented the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, stated that developments in the global oil and gas industry in the past three years made it imperative for stakeholders to indigenize research and development capabilities.

In his goodwill message, the Managing Director of Schlumberger and Secretary of the Petroleum Contractors Trade Section (PCTS), Mr. Ifeanyi Nwagbogu explained that R&D initiatives globally had been extended to include demonstration and deployment.

He stressed the need to demonstrate and deploy most of the research that had been conducted in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

“We need to convert our R&D to tangibles that can be useful in the market.”

He said Schlumberger collaborates with the R&D Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), adding that his company took two samples to the NNPC’s Laboratory for analysis, two months ago, rather than taking them abroad.

Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Research and Development Fair & Conference 2017

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), pursuant to its mandate in section 70(n) of the NOGICD Act 2010 is organising a Research and Development (R&D) Fair and Conference on September 25th to 27th, 2017. This is in tandem with the Board’s vision of being the instrument for the industrialization of Nigeria, aimed at accelerating the domiciliation of in-country R&D activities, engendering innovations, facilitating indigenous ownership of facilities in the Oil and Gas industry and other sectors of the economy.

The Fair and Conference is expected to create a convergence of Researchers, Industry Players endowment benefactors, Investors and Finance Enterprises and Manufacturing Companies to identify patentable or commercially viable products resulting from R&D activities.

Local coys must be competitive-ES NCDMB

Local service companies and manufacturers must strive to be competitive and adjust their business models in line with trends to stay in business, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has advised.

He gave this advice while speaking on the Requirements for Sustainable Growth of Manufacturing in Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Sector, at the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference organized by the Pipeline Professionals Association of Nigeria in Abuja recently.

According to him, the Board will continue to ensure patronage of local businesses in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Content Act and Presidential Executive Order 003, but companies that set their prices above reasonable thresholds will not be supported.  “It must be stated that local content is not at all cost. There is a level of premium that becomes un-economic for patronage and there is little the Board can do in such situations.”

He commended the Federal Government for promoting the Local Content policy through various initiatives, one of which is the Executive Order 003, which mandates all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to give consideration for the procurement of at least 40 percent made-in-Nigeria products and services across all sectors of the economy.

Speaking further, the Executive Secretary listed requirements that would make the nation’s manufacturing sector grow, including the provision of steady power supply and patronage of locally manufactured goods.

He also gave an insight into some achievements recorded by the Board, including an increase of in-country value addition from the paltry five percent level to 26 percent.

Wabote mentioned the existence of two world-class pipe mills, five pipe coating yards, the increase in the number of Nigerian-owed marine vessels to 36 percent,  resuscitation of moribund dry-dock facilities and local manufacturing of electrical cables required in the oil and gas industry. He further stated that Nigeria has also grown its fabrication capability to over 60,000 metric tonnes per annum and has capacity to carry out over 80 percent of engineering design in-country.

Other achievements of the Board include the creation of over 30,000 direct jobs, delivery of over six million training man-hours, award of over 90 percent of industry contracts to Nigerian companies, growth of indigenous operating companies and construction of facility for in-country integration of Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessels.

In his speech at the event, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru decsribed pipeline vandalism as a great threat to Nigerian economy, both in terms of revenue lost and environmental effects and charged key players in the industry to confront the challenge.

He insisted that pipelines remained the cheapest means of transporting crude oil and natural gas, regretting that the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) with a capacity of 150,000 barrels of production per day (Bopd) was breached 39 times in 2016. “Year-to-date 2017, we have recorded 27 breaching incidents on the TNP,” he said.

The GMD added that “for the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) with a capacity of 300,000 Bopd, recorded 17 breaches in 2016 while year-to-date 2017, we have recorded at least 15 breaching incidents on the TFP.”

Baru also lamented that about 700,000 barrels of oil per day was deferred due to pipeline vandalism in 2016 “while power generation in the country dropped significantly as the gas plants had to shut down thereby resulting in shortages in gas supply to power. “At present, huge amount of money is spent on protecting these pipelines which significantly add to the cost of production,” he added.

Bids reveal over 50% in-country integration, competitive prices for Agip’s deepwater project

Sets record in contract cycle

Shell to issue bid documents on BSWA with high NC targets

The Nigerian Content sector is set to make a huge impact on the nation’s economy as two multinational operating companies, Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) have set plans in motion for in-country fabrication and integration of over 50 percent of the topsides of their projects’ floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels.

The projects are the Zabazaba deepwater project being executed by NAE in partnership with SNEPCO on Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 and the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) deepwater project being developed by SNEPCO.
Indications emerged on Friday that major contractors bidding for Zabazaba submitted competitive costs and concrete plans to fabricate and integrate over 50 percent of the FPSO topsides in-country.

The technical and commercial evaluations of bids for the Zabazaba main packages have been finalized by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and NAE and the submissions met the aspiration of maximizing local content at the most competitive cost. The packages included the FPSO units, subsea, installation and rigs.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote confirmed the positive development, expressing optimism that the execution of Zabazaba would grow Nigerian Content and impact the economy, much more than previous deepwater projects. He said the Board carried out detailed scoping of the project to ensure that the targets exceed the accomplishments achieved on Total’s Egina.

For Egina, six FPSO topside modules were fabricated in-country across some yards and will be integrated when the FPSO arrives at the SHI-MCI yard in Lagos later this year. This will be the first time in the history of Nigeria.
Wabote also informed that the entire approvals and evaluations for Zabazaba were completed in 14 months, setting a cheering record in the industry as against the 24/36 months project cycle time that bedeviled the sector for many years and contributed to the high cost of projects.

“It has taken just 14 months since NAE approached the Board with their Nigerian Content Plan. NAE and NCDMB worked closely and went through the standard contracting process, including invitation to tender, clarifications, technical and commercial bid evaluations and facility audits. We completed the process and issued our final report on August 30.
“This is confirmation that NCDMB does not delay projects and we can achieve the six-month contract cycle target if operators comply with set directives.”

Similarly, (SNEPCO) is set to issue bid documents this September for the supply of the FPSO vessel for the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) deepwater project. The bid documents will set out the company’s plans for in-country fabrication of half of the topsides of the FPSO and their integration.
These indications emerged in the lead story of the September edition of Upstream, an authoritative international medium on the oil and gas industry. The report was titled “Shell set to launch FPSO bid battle.”
SPDC’s plan was informed by “the strict Local Content demands imposed by the Abuja-based government. All oversea bidders are expected to partner with Nigerian companies,” it added.

Shell’s contracting strategy was described as complex and demanding, a source saying that “they have some terms and conditions that are quite different from traditional T&Cs. These are thought to focus on Local Content and are all about asking the yards to take more risks.”
The Executive Secretary stated earlier in the year that more modules would be fabricated locally for future deepwater projects. He said the Board would not rest on its oars with regards to the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act and “new projects must look at doing FPSO integration and more.” Increased domiciliation of future FPSO projects is estimated to create jobs in the economy, estimated to reach 30,000.

NCDMB Not Relocating from Yenagoa

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.