Nigeria Mentors Uganda in Local Content Implementation

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has begun to provide guidance to the Ugandan Petroleum industry on the implementation of Local Content in their budding oil and gas industry.

A nine-man delegation drawn from four different agencies in the Ugandan Petroleum industry visited the (NCDMB) recently to understudy the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act in the oil and gas industry and seek counsel on how to implement a similar policy in their country.

Leader of the delegation and Head of National Content, Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), Mrs. Betty Namubiru explained that Uganda discovered oil in commercial quantities in 2006 and had a reserve base of about 6 billion barrels. She added that her nation was currently developing its oil and gas facilities, perfecting its policies and conducting studies on the best methodology to adopt in extracting and managing its petroleum resources. She indicated that the Ugandan oil sector needed an investment inflow of US$35bn and was expecting US20bn over the next three years.

She underlined that the visit to NCDMB was intended to enable the participating officials understand key areas to focus on in their National Content drive, so the nation could derive maximum in-country value from the projected investments. She added that “Uganda has a long standing relationship with Nigeria and this is just the beginning because our oil and gas sector is just evolving. We want to learn more about the steps you took in setting up your 10-year roadmap to grow Nigerian Content to 70 percent.’’

Welcoming the delegation, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote stated that Nigeria is one of the leading nations in the world petroleum industry and is very advanced in the area of Local Content. Wabote who was represented by the General Manager, Research, Strategy and Development, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu stated that Nigeria was happy to share knowledge on its Local Content practice and provide guidance to Uganda and other African countries in their quest to improve Local Content implementation.

Making a presentation on the activities and achievements of NCDMB, Halilu stated that certain parameters were necessary for sustainable Local Content implementation, listing them to include gap analysis of the industry, capacity building, regulatory framework, incentives and research and development.

He also told the Ugandan delegation that Local Content needs the participation of foreigners and Foreign Direct Investment to thrive and that Local Content is not Corporate Social Responsibility, rather it promotes the domiciliation of value-adding activities.

He also stated that Local Content requires support of government at the highest level and should not be interpreted as an effort to nationalise foreign businesses.

Providing details on the Board’s Project 100 initiative, Halilu advised Uganda to “look at how to identify some companies that have come up without any assistance and develop some interventions to take them to the next level.” He also advised the team to ensure that every major oil and gas project in their country is designed to leave a legacy investment behind.

In his comments, the General Manager, Capacity Building, NCDMB, Dr. Ama Ikuru stated for Local Content to succeed in Uganda, the administrators must insist on industry activities being executed in-country, as that would enable the indigenes to participate and acquire skills. He advised the Ugandan officials to focus on human capacity development and equip their indigenes with specialized skill sets required to work in the oil and gas industry. This is important he said, because the cost of manpower often accounts for between 20 to 25 percent of the operating costs of the industry. “If you can take that chunk, you have already improved your domiciliation.”

He also stated that 35 percent of industry budget is normally expended on equipment and assets, adding that Nigerian Content tries to capture that spend by giving first consideration to Nigerian companies that own vessels or manufactures vessels locally.

Waltersmith’s Modular Refinery begins operation Q2 2020-Wabote

The 5000 barrels per day modular refinery being developed by Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited with equity investment from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) would be completed in May 2020.

This date was confirmed by the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote and the Director of Finance and Personnel Management, Mr. Isaac Yalah inspected the project site on Monday at Ibigwe, Imo State, in company of the Chairman of Waltersmith, Mr. Abdulrasaq Isah and the Executive Vice-Chairman, Mr. Danjuma Sale.

The progress completion of the project stands at 65 percent, seven percent ahead of the original schedule. The engineering and procurement components had also been completed, with construction at 60 percent.

Giving his assessment after taking a tour of the site, Wabote described the project as investment channelled in the right direction. He hailed the contractors-Lambert Electromac and Zerock for their remarkable pace of execution, dedication and expertise, noting that they continued with the project despite the onset of the rainy season.

He also expressed delight with the high number of Nigerians working on various aspects of the project, stating that it underscores President Mohammed Buhari’s commitment to create employment for young Nigerians from the activities of the oil and gas industry. “I hope similar projects would come on stream pretty soon to generate employment for Nigerians.“

In line with the requirements of the succession plan requirements of the Nigerian Content Act, Wabote charged the contractors to train and absorb more Nigerians in senior management positions and make them permanent members of their companies, even after the project phase.

Wabote also noted that the Ibigwe modular refinery was the first of such projects to be undertaken by the NCDMB and Watersmith and hinted that the Board had sanctioned another modular refinery project to be developed at Calabar, Cross River State.

In his comments, the Chairman of Waltersmith thanked the Executive Secretary for the visit and affirmed that the company was satisfied with the quality of work from the contractors. He also noted that Waltersmith had been steadfast on its obligations to the firms. “We expect you to remain consistent with us as well. But we are very happy with what we have seen and we are looking forward to commissioning and beginning to sell diesel and kerosene from this site in May 2020.”

The Project Manager of Lambert Electromac, Mr. Mohamad Chit stated that all outstanding construction at the site were above the ground and being fast tracked. He stated that the installation stage is expected to take four weeks when it begins in October 2019.

Chit also said the modular refinery project begun on a good footing with the host community and had continued to enjoy conviviality from the local population.

The Board and Waltersmith signed the equity investment agreement in June 2018. Wabote had explained at the ceremony that the investment decision was in line with the Board’s vision ‘to be the catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors.’

He added that the Board was also keen to support the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries and meet the key objectives of the Petroleum Industry’s Seven Big Wins launched by President Mohammed Buhari in October 2016 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Program (EGRP).

NCDMB begins phase 2 of Bayelsa Oil and Gas Park

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has launched the start of phase 2 of the construction of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS) in Emeyal-1, Ogbialand in Bayelsa State.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote announced this on Monday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during a townhall meeting with community stakeholders of the project, where he confirmed that the 25 megawatts independent power plant (IPP) being constructed in partnership with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to supply electricity to the park and other dedicated facilities would be completed in July 2019.

He explained that the contract for new phase of Bayelsa NOGAPS was approved by the Federal Executive Council, which underlines President Mohammed Buhari’s commitment to ensure comprehensive development of the Niger Delta region, spur the incubation of manufacturing of oil equipment in-country to generate employment for young people.

He stated that the main purpose of the townhall meeting was “to formally inform stakeholders that we have secured Federal Government’s approval to award the contract for the construction of roads and drainage system in furtherance of the development plan of the industrial park.“ The new phase of the project would include the construction of pavements, walkways, parking lots, concrete-lined drainages, service ducts amongst others, he said.

Wabote thanked the community stakeholders for the success so far recorded in the first phase of the project, adding that “it is due to the support so far received on the sand-filling and fencing works that gives us the confidence to continue to the next phase of the project development.”

He underscored the need for continued support of the stakeholders as the project is meant to bring progress and jobs to their area. He added that ”I expect utmost cooperation from all as you play your roles and be part of history that will place your community on the map of oil and gas manufacturing activities. Such roles include checkmating any individual or group that wants to derail this wonderful opportunity from coming to fruition in your community.”

The Executive Secretary confirmed that O.K. Isokariari & Sons won the bid for the 2nd phase of the NOGAPS project and canvassed for maximum support for the contractor to enhance timely completion of the project.

He stated that the contract made provision for hiring of a minimum of 80 percent of all ‘unskilled labour’ from the host and immediate communities for the project execution, a minimum of 50 percent of the semi-skilled and 20 percent of the skilled labour requirements, except where there is no response from the communities to such advertised positions.

The NCDMB boss also indicated that community suppliers would participate in the supply of sand, granite, water, fuel, and other construction supplies to be determined by the contractor and they would be subject to the quality required and fair market price.

He charged the contractor to ensure safety and security at the site and promote cordial and harmonious relationship with the communities. The firm is also expected to deliver on time, within budget and to the specified quality. “We have there two cardinal objectives in this project. The first is to maximize the participation and employment of persons from the communities in the project. The second is to ensure that the project is successfully completed on schedule.”

Further scopes lined up for the development of the 25 hectares industrial park include the provision of electrical and water utilities, warehouses, manufacturing shop floors, factories, capacity building centre, hostels, administrative block, mini estate, security posts, fire station, and other facilities.

Providing insight on the NOGAPS concept, the Executive Secretary stated that the oil and gas park “fits perfectly into our mantra to domicile and domesticate oil and gas activities in-country. A key benefit to highlight is that about 2,000 jobs are projected to be created when this park is in full operation in addition to serving as capacity development center and on-the-job training hub for our youths. There is no doubt that this project will positively impact Bayelsa State in general and the Ogbialand/ Emeyal-1 community in particular.”

The Obanobhan 111 of Ogbia Kingdom, King Dumaro Charles-Owaba suggested the setting up of a monitoring committee to be composed of representatives NCDMB and the community stakeholders, which would liaise with the Board and the contractor as well as provide members of the communities updates on the project.

Other stakeholders who spoke at the meeting promised a conducive environment for the project while imploring the contractor to avail them ample opportunities to participate in the execution.

NCDMB, Defence HQ to partner on R&D

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will partner the Defence Research and Development Bureau to invest in the research and development to aid national security and development.

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote made this commitment when the Director-General of the Defence Bureau, AVM Jumo Osahor paid him a courtesy visit at Board’s liaison office in Abuja.

In his remarks, AVM Osahor enumerated the research interests of the defence headquarters and expertise which could form the basis of strong partnership between the two institutions. He sought the Board’s support for the Bureau’s commitment to Research and Development as a strategy for improving the military’s capacity to address the nation’s security challenges.

He stated that the collaboration of the two institutions will also deliver value to Nigerians and help in the development of the economy.

In his response, Wabote commended the Nigerian Defence Forces for their efforts in combating insecurity across the nation and strides made in promoting Local Content in their operations and equipment. He pledged the Board’s readiness to support the R&D endeavors of the Bureau.

“Be assured that we are ready to collaborate with you. The Board is the right agency with regards to Research & Development which would help enhance security in country.” he said.

Many Nigerians have benefitted from Local Content-Senate

The implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act in 2010 has enabled many Nigerians to benefit from the oil and gas industry in many ways, including assets ownership, capacity building and acquisition of critical skills, the Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola has said.

He stated this at the Local Content Stakeholders Strategy Session organized recently in Abuja for outgoing members of the Senate Committee on Local Content by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The retreat titled Deepening Legislative-Executive Relationship for Better Sectoral Performance” was held to review the activities of 8th National Assembly and set agenda for the incoming 9th Assembly.

According to Adeola ”Nigeria has a lot to gain economically by the faithful implementation of the NOGICD Act 2010, relating to the oil and gas industry as well as amendment of the law to embrace manufacturing, construction and communication and information technology sector.”

He added that an important agenda for the 9th National Assembly would be to quickly amend the Nigerian Content Act to cover other sectors like manufacturing, construction and ICT that are still dominated by foreign players. He also canvassed that the Board should be further empowered in the area of manpower in other to effectively regulate the international and local oil and gas companies, stating that some of them were still flouting the Nigerian Content Act in their operations.

“I want to also suggest that the Local Content Fund contributed by stakeholders should be more accessible to investors who remit the one percent fund. Nigerians Companies should be able to buy vessels from their manufacturers directly using the fund which will encourage accountability.”

In his address, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote said the nation had recorded impressive achievements in the implementation of Nigerian Content Act since 2010, with Nigerians playing key roles in the oil and gas industry to the level of heading foreign firms in Nigeria. He added that the overarching focus of Nigerian Content, which is the domiciliation and domestication of value adding activities is being achieved creditably, rather than just “Nigerianization.”

He reaffirmed the determination of the Board to fulfill its mission “to be the catalyst for the industrialization of Nigerian oil and gas and its linkage sectors.”

Wabote also commended Senator Adeola for the strides he recorded as the Chairman of the Local Content Committee, despite the fact that the Committee was set up for the first time under the 8th Senate. He highlighted that the committee was able to keep major industry players on their toes by not relying solely on the Board for information but reviewing the activities of the stakeholders independently.

He promised that their commendations and positive feedback from the Committee will propel the Board in the pursuit of its 10-year strategic roadmap to increase Nigerian Content performance to 70 percent by 2027.

“Late submission of reports will be deemed as non-compliance”- NCDMB

Delay and non-submission of statutory reports by oil industry operators and service companies would soon constitute non-compliance of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, the Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Akintunde Adelana has said.
He stated this on Tuesday in Lagos at a workshop organized to introduce the revised Monitoring and Compliance Enforcement framework to industry stakeholders.
He said the Board expects timely submission of statutory reports and had designed a system that will reward companies that comply with the provisions of the NOGICD Act.
Adelana explained that the Board revised its monitoring and compliance enforcement framework with a view to making its templates and processes user friendly, more objective, simple and easier to complete. He added that the templates had been tested and they will impact Nigerian Content processes greatly.
He further stated that the templates were designed “as part of the strategic roadmap of the Board to grow Nigerian Content to 70 percent. We cannot achieve the target by using the old templates that were deployed since the establishment of the Board in 2010, hence the revision of the various reporting templates.”
He charged stakeholders to eschew completing the Board’s templates and submitting reports for the sake of formality, rather they should strive to provide the Board with qualitative and accurate date which will help to assess how the country is performing in terms Nigerian Content implementation.
He said, “At the end of today’s workshop, we will expect qualitative and accurate information from submission of the template from the industry. This will help us to know how well we are doing in terms of Nigeria Content implementation.”

NCDMB holds Capacity Building Workshop for N/Assembly members

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have held a capacity building workshop for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Local Content in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The workshop titled ‘Transformational Leadership and Management workshop’ was aimed at enlightening members of the green chamber of the national assembly on boosting perceptions about the Nigerian Content Law and help make them transformational leaders.

Delivering his remark, the chairman, House of Representatives committee on local content, Hon. Emmanuel Ekon while appreciating the Board for organizing the workshop mentioned that the summit was helpful  to enable members of the committee instrumentalize legislative activism to cause positive change.

He recalled the region being the first place where oil was discovered and frowned at the fact that Oloibiri where the oil was discovers is now abandoned, underdeveloped and a metaphor for capitalist despoliation.

Ekon expressed that a token of redemption is risen in the Niger Delta region with the presence of the Board with its headquarters within the region.

On the headquarters building project, Ekon commended the Board for a great job urged other agencies of government to emulate the board by relying on indigenous companies to execute projects that brings value to Nigerians.

In his keynote address, The Executive Secretary, NCDMB; Engr. Simbi Wabote appreciated the working relationship between Board and the current Assembly. He stressed his undying commitment to join the members in building capacity not just for themselves but for the benefit of the Nigerian people. Simbi said, “I believe this will extend into the 9th Assembly with even greater achievements and I expect that the board will gather momentum in the implementation of the laid down roadmaps.”

Wabote acknowledged the support of the committee that have enabled the Board to implement its programmes underpinned by the 10-year strategic roadmap aimed at increasing Nigerian Content from the current level of about 30% to 70% by the year 2027.

He mentioned that the workshop’s focus on Leadership is well aligned with the Board’s roadmap to transform the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector as well as deepen local content practice.

GOWON, WABOTE HARP ON HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FOR NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION

Stakeholders from various sectors including the former Military President, General Yakubu Gowon called for increased development of human capacities as the driver for national development.

The former military President made the assertion at the second Oil and Gas Trainers’ Association Annual Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.

General Gowon who was the chairman of the event mentioned that efforts must be geared at developing human capabilities in leadership and entrepreneurial skills. He said for the nation to be able to achieve economic competitiveness at regional and global stage, it is important to place premium on human capital development. He reiterated that the domestic values of the oil and gas can be retained only if there is continuous growth of the indigenous capacities.

In his words, “as you know, globalization and the knowledge economy are no longer matters of debate rather, they have become matters of existential considerations for nations and organizations alike. It is imperative that we place pivotal premium on human capital development.”

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board , Engr. Simbi Wabote while delivering the keynote address on the theme ‘Human capital development as a driver for  national transformation: Issues And Possibilities’ calls for the need to speedily tackle the issue slowing down Human Capacity Development in our country.

Wabote stressed that government has been over stretched by the demands of education and training for the entire populace and could not completely tackle it all alone, hence the need for greater involvement of the private sector.

“A look at the Federal Government’s 2019 budget shows that N621billion is allocated to the Education sector with only N34billion or 5% of it set aside for capital expenditure. Despite our view about this budget provision, it cannot be compared to a scenario in which the 79 private universities were to be among those that the government had to cater for in its yearly budget. It is thus important that the government starts looking at passing over about 20% of the schools to private or religious organizations within the next 5 years in order to lessen its burden.” Wabote pointed.

Wabote highlighted the capacity building strides of the Board which has impacted positively on human, material and economic resources of Nigerians.  He said, “We have taken specific steps to train maritime cadets, secondary school teachers, agricultural entrepreneurs, pilots, technicians, engineers, and environmentalists with over 6 million training man-hours delivered”

While commending OGTAN members for their efforts towards addressing human capital development need of the oil sector, Wabote charged the group to aim at being top-notch training provider so as to reduce capital flight.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu stressed the needs to set appropriate timelines to unlock the potentials that can make the oil sector drive itself in a way that will provide more opportunities for Nigerians.

“We must begin to focus on how to unlock potentials in this field that will enable us fix the peculiarities that is facing our industry. Our thoughts should be channeled to how do we fix powers, our aging pipelines and get gas to become a clean energy efficiency with less of government resources and more of private sector resources.”

Delivering his welcome address, the President, OGTAN, Dr Mayowa Afe noted that training and acquisition of necessary skills is a prerequisite for socio economic transformation. He asserted, “Our wealth is not oil and gas but the human capital that we are endowed with by God”.

While acknowledging the gains of the NOGICD Act 2010 as one of the best things that has happened to the country, Afe called for more opportunities to be given to indigenous trainers and involvement of OGTAN in the Board of various agencies of Federal government.

 

This year’s edition of the conference witnessed the conferment of award on the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as the Oil and Gas man of the year and Engr Simbi Wabote awarded for his innovations in the local content development. Other awards were presented to the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru among others.

Over 1000 delegates attend NOGOF 2019

…NCDMB lists 80 opportunities worth $100bn
…FG to create network, timelines for identified projects
… Communities to form cooperatives for Modular Refineries

Over 1000 delegates including the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon Seriake Dickson; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu; Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr. Osagie Okunbor and many other dignitaries participated in the just ended 2nd edition of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The fair, which had the theme ‘’Maximizing Oil & Gas Industry for the Benefit of the Nigerian People’’ was held at the NCDMB 1000 capacity conference hall.

Delivering his welcome address, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote said the Board had identified over 80 oil and gas opportunities that would be developed by major international and indigenous operating companies in the short and long term, with the estimated cumulative value of the projects exceeding $100bn.

The projects are contained in the Compendium of Nigerian Content Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry launched at the event. The projects and opportunities cover the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas sectors and were collated from presentations by various oil and gas companies at the first edition of NOGOF in 2017 and updated at workshops organised by the Board in October 2018.

Wabote explained that the compendium was intended to create a database of Nigerian Content opportunities and help indigenous and potential investors prepare, improve their capacities and capabilities to participate in available and upcoming contracts and projects.

He added that the compendium gives the industry a five year outlook and enables stakeholders to key into those opportunities. “Two years ago when we held this workshop we talked about ExxonMobil’s Ibot, Total’s Ikike and NLNG Train 7. Today they are going through the funnel and within the next few weeks they would take Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) on Ikike and Ibot and before the end of the year they would take FID on Train 7. We focus and follow through on those opportunities. Every two years we roll on new opportunities and add to the compendium.”

In his comments, Kachikwu, who had just been re-elected as the President of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) for a 3rd term at the association’s meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, pointed out that the speedy development of the identified $100bn opportunities would require the roles and contributions of various entities, including the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for approvals, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for negotiations and the oil companies, who would take FIDs, among others.

He promised that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would midwife a special arrangement that would involve every agency of government and entity that has a role to play in the approval and development of the identified projects. “We must avoid a situation whereby NCDMB might work very fast and gets to the goal post and others are just taking off. We would create an arrangement that involves everybody and be clear about the deliverables, timelines and opportunities and bring out something which everyone can then drive.”

On government’s support for modular refineries as a strategy for ending crude oil theft, vandalism and environmental degradation, Kachikwu hinted that the Ministry of Petroleum would develop a policy that would encourage persons living in oil producing communities to form cooperatives, with which they can set up and own modular refineries. He said, “We would have some agreements with them to stop the sabotage. We can work with NCDMB to put in a bit of funding. Then we put in technical know-how, business structure around it and have a major shareholder who is an entrepreneur. That way the locals get to participate, get jobs, polish their skills sets, crude is paid for and not stolen and the environment is better dealt with.”

Speaking further the Minister expressed regret that the potentialities of the Nigerian oil and gas sector was not being maximized and counselled stakeholders to accelerate their activities because oil is a fast degenerating asset and developed countries were already switching to cleaner energy options.

He also challenged industry players to strive for improvements in all facets of their operations, insisting that Nigerian should be producing over 7m barrels of crude oil every day and enough gas to meet its electricity needs. Kachikwu also posited that the sector should have rapidly developing infrastructure, while oil bearing communities ought to be well developed with proceeds from the sale of crude oil. He encouraged Nigerian operators to move into other African countries and use our 60 years’ experience in the sector to lead the operations of their fields.

The Minister also commended the Executive Secretary of NCDMB for its numerous achievements, particularly for the construction of the Board’s 17-storey headquarters building.

He said ”the building is not just important to NCDMB but also for Bayelsa State, because it had cried out for long that federal presence was not here. This is a big federal presence. By the time they finish the power supply they are doing with AGIP, you will have a near 100 percent supply of power to most of the Board’s facilities.”

The two-day fair featured several opportunity presentations, technical sessions and exhibition of capacities.

Dangote Refinery, NCDMB train 200 youths on vocational skills

Two hundred youths from the host community to Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals have been selected to participate in the six-month vocational training funded by the refinery.  This is part of the company’s plans to support the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in its human capital development initiative in the oil and gas sector and in compliance with its Nigerian Content commitments on the project.

Speaking at the kick off ceremony, the Executive Director, Capital Projects, Dangote Group, Mr. Devakumar Edwin described the initiative as a demonstration of Dangote Refinery’s commitment to building capacities and empowering youths in the country.

According to him, the programme was launched with the support of the NCDMB and in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), to train artisans on plumbing, masonry, welding, iron bending, auto mechanics and electrical works.

He said “the vocational scheme was geared towards instant value addition to the lives of the youths and their communities as they would be equipped with trade skills that would prepare them for better opportunities.”

The Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote was represented at the event by the Manager, Gas and Refinery, Engr. Frank Ibi and he explained that Nigerian Content is geared to promote domiciliation of value-adding activities and utilization of indigenous human and material resources.

He charged the trainees to be disciplined and to harness the opportunity as the programme will equip them with basic skills for self-reliance.

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu also attended the event and applauded Dangote Group for empowering the youths and providing them with even before it commences operations.

The Monarch also encouraged the youths to utilize the skills they will acquire, work hard and be close to God.

In his words, “you must appreciate the unique opportunity given you to be engaged in a programme like this. I enjoin you to take this seriously as it can be a step to change your lives completely.”