Governor Akpabio lauds Board for stemming Capital Flight and Youth Restiveness


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The maiden sensitization and enlightenment workshop on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act ended recently in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State with a call by the host government on the Board to stiffen penalties for non-compliance of the law to make

Nigerians believe in the concept of indigenous participation as a major component in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in order to avail themselves of opportunities to derive meaningful values from the oil and gas supply chain.

Addressing participants at the workshop, the Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa who was represented by the General Manager, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Daniel Afiakure disclosed that one of the first engagements of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010 was the signing into law of the NOGICD Act to engender indigenous participation  in the oil and gas value chain. Engr. Nwapa who announced the Board’s plans to establish more business friendly environment for small businesses opined that this will be achieved through the setting up of Industrial Parks in the nine oil producing states for the purpose of attracting domestic and foreign direct investment, integrate local supply chain and monitor SMEs with a view to having mutual benefits with international firms.

The Executive Secretary stressed that the sensitization workshop is aimed at enlightening the people of the area on the provisions of the NOGICD Act, reiterating that the Federal Government has taken measures to ensure that oil bearing communities benefit directly from exploration and production activities. Engr. Nwapa encouraged participants to take advantage of the workshop to acquaint themselves of opportunities in the oil and gas industry and also work towards active participation.

Declaring the workshop open, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio commended NCDMB for her choice of Akwa Ibom for the workshop noting that the Federal Government’s effort in enacting the Nigerian Content Act is aimed at protecting Nigerians and giving them their rightful place in the oil and gas industry.

Speaking through the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Prince Enobong Uwah, Gov. Akpabio regretted the situation in the past where Nigerians had few opportunities and lacked skills in the oil and gas industry and expressed the hope that the workshop will help to enlighten and correct these abnormalities. He hinted that the time for the workshop is apt as it has opened up a new vista in the Nigerian oil and gas industry as well as boosted the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

The Akwa Ibom chieftain stated further that three years after signing into law the NOGICD Act, it has stemmed capital flight and youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region with much still needed to be done to completely transfer technical skills from foreigners to Nigeria to bring the vision of President Goodluck Jonathan to reality. The Governor expressed optimism that resource persons at the workshop will bring their wealth of experience to bear, while urging participants to make judicious use of the initiatives gained.

Moving a vote of thanks, the Coordinator of the Board for Akwa Ibom/Cross River Zone, Mr. Uduak Obot expressed happiness over the massive turnout at the maiden edition of the workshop and thanked the state government for the support given the Board. Mr. Obot promised participants of the Board’s commitment at ensuring that the Nigerian Content law works in Akwa Ibom State.

The program which featured relevant papers such as “Challenges to Indigenous Contractors Working in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry”, “Requirements for Doing Business in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry” among others drew participants from the government, public and private sectors which included representatives of ExxonMobil, indigenous service operators, local contractors, interest groups from oil bearing communities, royal fathers and the academia.

The event which was rounded off with a Raffle Draw had two participants emerging winners at the workshop. The participants were Effiong Okon Udoh of Abak local government area, a Safety and Environmental Engineering graduate from the College of Petroleum Technology, Uyo and Etimbuk Essien Tommy of Ibiono Ibom local government area, a graduate of Agriculture Engineering, University of Uyo. The recipients will, however, be trained through the Board’s capacity building program.



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