NAOC, NCDMB hold workshop for oil sector contractors

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its joint venture partners with the support of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have organized a two-day workshop on compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.

The workshop, held in Port Harcourt recently, sought to enlighten contractors on the regulations, policies and laws that are applicable in the oil and gas industry and encourage compliance.

Delivering the keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote represented by the General Manager, Projects Certification and Authorization Division (PCAD), Engr. Paul Zuhumben commended NAOC/ENI for hosting the workshop annually.

He stated that the Board developed the Nigerian Content 10-Year Strategic Roadmap hinged on five strategic pillars and four enablers, to enable it achieve the desired goal of growing the Nigerian Content level in the industry from the current 30 percent to 70 percent in 2027.

According to him, “domiciliation of value adding activities is one of the key objectives of the Board.  We are excited that operators and service companies now heed our call to develop human capacity of Nigerians through workshops like this.”

Engr. Zuhumben charged the participants to familiarize themselves with the Nigerian Content Act and the Board’s 10 Year Strategic roadmap.

In his welcome address, the Vice Chairman/ Managing Director of NAOC, Mr. Lorenzo Fiorillo, represented by the General Manager – District, Mr. Alessandro Tiani, said the workshop was organized to develop the capacity of Nigerian owned companies to actively participate in the oil and gas industry and achieve the objectives of the NOGICD Act.

He further stated that this year’s workshop is the 6th edition and was designed to re-educate the contractors on the provisions of the NOGICD Act in order to raise their level of compliance as well as empower and enhance the capacities for favorable bids and execution of projects in the industry.

In his remarks, the Head of Government and External Relations, Oando, Mr. Adeyemi Oreagba, who represented the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wale Tinubu, commended NCDMB for the giant stride it made in the implementation of the Act.

He assured that Oando will continue to collaborate with the joint venture partners to support the promotion of Local Content, community contractors and vendors in doing business in the oil and gas industry.

Wabote charges Nigerian Content Managers on core values, in-country capacities

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote has charged Nigerian Content Managers working for oil and gas operating and service companies to imbibe the core values of the Board, which includes Passion, Integrity, Professionalism, Creativity, Patriotism, and Team Spirit.

The adoption of those values would grow indigenous participation in the oil and gas value chain and enhance job creation, value creation and development of in-country capacities, he said.

He gave the charge at a retreat organized by the Board at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State recently for Nigerian Content Managers, Focal Persons and Personnel and other critical stakeholders of the oil and gas industry.

According to him, “nobody can succeed as a Local Content Practitioner if the person does not love his or her job. You must first believe and have passion for the Local Content concept before you can practice it effectively.”

He explained that the Board organized the event so that Nigerian Content managers can reconnect and pay attention to their own capacity development as against their regular roles of building the capacities of other industry players.

Speaking on Integrity, Wabote remarked that the word does not necessarily connote corruption but on how an individual organizes his or her daily life. “If you can keep to your time, to your word, people will know you as a man or woman of integrity”, he stated.

He also enjoined Nigerian Content Managers to have integrity as part of their corporate culture considering the volume of transactions they handle and never to allow pecuniary gains or personnel interests to becloud their sense of judgement.

Dwelling on Professionalism, the Executive Secretary counselled the focal persons to be adept with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, which he described as the number one reference book for any Nigerian Content Practitioner.

He insisted that the NOGICD Act is not meant for lawyers alone and advised the practitioners to read, or refresh their understanding of the Act before the 10th anniversary which comes up in April 2020.

“As professionals, you need you to be familiar with the rule books, the guidelines, and the processes of your trade. You must be knowledgeable about the state of the industry, the in-country capabilities and the existing gaps,” he added.

He stated further that part of the reason the Board organises facility visits to service companies and manufacturing facilities is to enable Nigerian Content managers to see for themselves the capabilities that exist in-country and what is doable.

The workshop attracted a huge attendance and participants bared their minds on the challenges and grey areas concerning aspects of the Board’s operations covering compliance monitoring, Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund product types and aspects of the NOGICD Act.

Local Content ‘’ll cut Nigeria’s crude production cost-Sylva

The Federal Government will deepen the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act because it is an effective strategy for lowering Nigeria’s high crude oil production cost, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timpre Sylva has said.

The Minister stated this on Thursday at the conclusion of his first working visit to NCDMB’s head office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, its new 17 storey headquarters building and other project sites.

Emphasizing that Government’s primary target in the sector is to significantly reduce the unit cost of producing per barrel of crude oil, Sylva stated that ”local contractors tend to be cheaper than expatriates and international contractors and that’s why we want to encourage Local Content and give more opportunities to local contractors. By extension we will reduce the cost of doing business in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

“Local Content is part of cost reduction strategy. That’s why I came here, to encourage more local participation in the activities of the industry.”

The Minister also lauded the NCDMB for epitomizing its mandate by using an indigenous contractor to develop its new headquarters. He described the edifice as world class and a clear demonstration of the capacity of Nigerians contractors. Such superlative performance on projects would pave way for the engagement of other local contractors in the oil and gas and construction sectors, he suggested.

”When you have seen one contractor perform this good, you are encouraged to patronize more local contractors.”

He expressed confidence that the new NCDMB structure will attract a flurry of oil industry activities to Bayelsa State. He noted that ”the problem we have had over the years was that the region where oil production takes place did not have proper structures to promote lots of events. That why you see oil and gas events going to Abuja and Lagos. But when you have a befitting facility here, going forward there will be a lot of oil and gas related activity in the Niger Delta.”

The Minister commended the NCDMB for the numerous achievements it had recorded in the implementation of the NOGICD Act. He said, ”I am quite impressed with what they have done in a very short time of existence. The new headquarters building is a testament to that impressive performance and of course, you have the 10 mega watts independent power plant. It is a modular plant that can be increased up to 25 megawatts.”

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote confirmed that Local Content implementation lowers the cost of crude oil production, particularly in the long run. He listed other key elements that contribute to high crude oil production cost in Nigeria to include security and infrastructural challenges as well as protracted contracting cycle.

He affirmed that several Nigerian oil service companies had executed several projects at costs much lower than their international counterparts. He also clarified that countries like Brazil, Malaysia and Norway that had practiced Local Content in their oil sector for decades had long enjoyed significant cost reduction in their per barrel cost.

Wabote also explained that Local Content serves as an opportunity cost for the Federal Government to empower its citizens and get them involved in the activities of the oil and gas industry.

He added that Local Content guarantees security of supply in the industry, recalling that local service companies and skilled Nigerians personnel ensured that operations of the oil and gas industry continued apace during the height of restiveness in the Niger Delta region a few years ago, when most foreign companies and their staff had pulled out.

Providing details on the new NCDMB facility, the Executive Secretary reiterated that it will be ready in December 2019 but relocation of staff will be in phases.

He stated that the project recorded huge impact on the local community. According to him, ”when we started, we took about 50 youths from the host communities and trained them in carpentry, masonry, laying of tiles and other skills. Today, those youths are working on the facility and because of the skills they have acquired, the contractor will take them to other projects.

”In terms of Corporate Social Responsibility, we worked with the contractor and built a town hall for the Swali community which we commissioned last year.  Many members of community also supplied sand, granite and other inputs. They have been an integral part of the construction.”

The Executive Secretary also informed that NCDMB had developed a sustainability plan for the facility, which includes renting out some of the floors to reputable oil and gas organizations. ”Currently we have two applications from operating companies.”

Reps, NCDMB to collaborate in Nigerian Content Act Amendment

The House of Representatives has promised to work closely with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to amend the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act and extend it to other critical sectors of the national economy.

Chairman of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Committee (NCDMC) in the 9th National Assembly, Rt. Honorable Legor Idagbo made the pledge at the inaugural meeting of the Committee with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) held at the National Assembly recently.

He conveyed the committee’s determination to ensure that the gains recorded in the Oil and Gas Industry through the implementation of the Act in the last nine years gets replicated in other key sectors of the economy.

While admitting that other sectors had their peculiarities, Idagbo noted that the amendment would take those uniqueness into consideration.

He hinted that the current committee was different from its predecessor in the 8th assembly, adding that the name was changed from Local Content Committee and the mandate was expanded to other sectors in line with the Executive Order 5 issued by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He announced that the committee will oversight the activities of every ministry, department and agency to ensure compliance with Executive Order 5.

The chairman confirmed that the committee had drawn up its work programme, which would guide its activities into 2020. According to him, the committee had a large membership because many members of the House of Representatives were interested in attracting the benefits of Nigerian Content to their constituents.

In his presentation, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote lauded the committee’s interest in extending the NOGICD Act to other sectors and affirmed that the nation would derive several benefits if the move becomes a success.

He clarified that the focus of Nigerian Content implementation was not Nigerianization of the oil and gas sector but rather domiciliation and domestication of industry activities.

 

He also explained that Nigerian Content implementation was distinct from corporate social responsibility and does not compromise standards.

 

Wabote indicated further that the development of major oil and gas projects was critical to the growth of Local Content. “If we don’t have an enabling environment and we don’t catalyze more projects and Final Investment Decisions, we cannot increase Local Content,” he said.

 

He informed that Nigerian Content grew from below 5 percent before the passage of the NOGICD Act in 2010 to the current level of 30 percent. He also stated that NCDMB introduced the Nigerian Content 10 Year Strategic Roadmap in 2017, with the target to grow Nigerian Content to 70 percent by 2027.

The Executive Secretary however stressed that “the idea is not to achieve 100 percent. We want to claw back as much as possible and push the boundary for Nigerians to do so much. No one country has 100 percent technology and capacity in the oil and gas industry.”

Some returning members of the committee commended the Board for the achievements it had recorded with the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, notably in the reduction of non-compliance against the Act. They also described the NOGICD Act as a blessing to the country and called for the extension to other sectors as quickly as possible.

UNN student wins NCDMB 3rd edition essay competition

A second-year student of Medical Rehabilitation at the University of Nigeria, Enugu State, Mr. Isaac Fredrick Sunday, has emerged the winner of the third edition of the annual national oil and gas essay competition organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The essay submitted by the 21-year-old was adjudged the best amongst over 3000 entries and he was rewarded with a cash prize of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000), a new laptop and a plaque. He had emerged as one of the top 10 finalists in the 2018 edition of the competition.

The other top four finalists included Miss. Melex Tamaradoubra, a 200-level student of Medical Laboratory, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt; Mr. Nater Akpen, a 200-level Medical student of Benue State University, Makurdi; and Miss Zeenat Magaji, a 200-level student of Cyber Security Science, Federal University of Technology, Minna. They received varying cash prizes for their efforts.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, represented by the Manager, Corporate Communication, Barr. Naboth Onyesoh explained that the essay competition had become a signature event for the Board and serves to promote liberal arts education and development of vital soft skills required in the workplace and business in the emerging digital world economy.

According to him, “This program will continue to generate interest and awareness especially among undergraduates about the criticality of Nigerian Content philosophy and law in the oil and gas sector as a national economic agenda for job creation, poverty reduction, industrial development and economic growth.”

He commended the growth trajectory of the programme and the high ethical standards it had maintained over the years.

Mr. Onyesoh added that the programme is comparable with the Boards sponsored Science Quiz Competition for high school students, conceived to stimulate interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. He encouraged the top 10 finalists to continually improve their writing competencies because it comes with numerous benefits.

Chairman of the occasion and Vice Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Allen Agih, commended NCDMB for impacting positively on NDU and the society in general. He sought for more competitions to improve creativity and research, so as to enable students gain requisite practical experiences and become employable upon graduation.

The Project Consultant, Mr. Eyinimi Omorozi thanked the Board for its continued sponsorship of the essay competition. He said the project was conceived to encourage writing and the research ability of young Nigerian undergraduates in public and private owned tertiary institutions to enhance academic excellence.

NCDMB, OPTS to develop marine vessels standards for Oil Industry

…Conditions for NCI Fund‘ll not be relaxed

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will partner with the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) – the umbrella body of major oil producing companies to develop an oil and gas industry marine vessels standards.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote gave the hint on Tuesday in Abuja when received the new executive committee of the Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) led by the President, Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung.

The standards will be applied in marine tenders by all oil and gas operators and will specify uniform technical specifications that must be met by marine vessels that will work in the oil and gas industry.

The conceptualization of the standards will have inputs from relevant stakeholders and will enhance business opportunities for marine operators and stimulate capacity building, efficient maintenance of vessels and optimum service delivery, Wabote explained.

He added that NCDMB was desirous to promote the development of shipyards and would collaborate with the shipowners or any group that would submit a bankable proposal on how to domicile that important capacity in-country.

Responding to a request by the shipowners for the Board to relax certain conditions which made it difficult for them to access the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI Fund), the Executive Secretary insisted that existing conditions on the NCI Fund would remain.

He clarified that the Board instituted those conditions, including the demand for Bank Guarantee from the applicant’s commercial bank, so as to guard against failure of the loans and the entire credit scheme. “We set tight conditions because we do not want the Fund to fail,” he added.

He described the NCI Fund as phenomenal success, noting that 90 percent of the funds have been accessed by oil and gas companies that met the set conditions.

Earlier in his remarks, President of SOAN, Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung stated that the visit was aimed to familiarize the Board with the new executive of the association and seek innovative ways both organisations could collaborate for the good of the industry.

He commended NCDMB for the impactful implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, which has led to the exponential growth of indigenous marine sector.

He also lauded the Board for developing the revised Marine Vessel Categorization Scheme and expressed hope that it would lead to more industry contracts for their members.

Onyung stated that some members of the association were working with foreign partners to start ship building and repair centres in Nigeria and will require support and collaboration from NCDMB.

He declared that shipping consisted of 90 percent of global trade and SOAN wanted to contribute its quota to national economic development. He said the association was planning to organize a national conference and would use the forum to showcase how Nigerian Content had provided an enabling environment for shipping to thrive.

In their contributions, other executive members of SOAN sought the Board’s intervention towards getting international oil companies to change the 10-year age restriction they placed by on marine vessels that would be hired in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. According to them, it took an average of 5-6 years for a contracted vessel to break even, hence it would be highly unprofitable if such a vessel barred from working shortly after it clocked ten.

They also proposed a partnership arrangement with NCDMB whereby the Board would sponsor cadets to gain seatime onboard vessels owned by SOAN members.

They noted that the association operated a similar scheme with the Maritime Academy Oron, Akwa Ibom State and presently had 59 cadets onboard ships, with the school paying a discounted rate for the opportunities.

The also pleaded with the Board to compel the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to use indigenous owned tankers for transhipment of its products. They regretted that only one Nigerian owned tanker was engaged by the NNPC in contravention of Nigerian Content dictates.

Responding, the Executive Secretary stated the Board’s readiness to partner with SOAN to provide seatime experience to young Nigerians and charged the association to submit a detailed proposal on the idea.

He also stated that NCDMB was already exploring an arrangement whereby ExxonMobil Nigeria would deploy a training vessel as a Capacity Development Initiative (CDI). The training vessel would have extra deck spaces for cadets and operate under a sustainable arrangement.

He also challenged SOAN to engage the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), NNPC and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on some of its demands, which border on the mandate of those agencies.

NCDMB, NOSDRA collaborate on Research Finding

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has met with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and Solpawa Bio-Remediation Products Ltd (SBPL) over the potential certification of local bio-remediation breakthroughs.

The meeting which held recently at NOSDRA’s Headquarter in Abuja discussed NOSDRA’s potential certification of SBPL’s Soil Booster 101X and Solpawa Soil Conditioner 102X).

NCDMB initiated the meeting because it is the driver for the growth of local research capabilities within the Nigerian Oil industry. The Board is supporting SBPL’s efforts towards the commercialization of the Solpawa Soil Booster 101X and Solpawa Soil Conditioner 102X. The Board is working to facilitate NOSDRA’s certification of the patented products prior to the field trials.

The NCDMB team was represented by Mr Woyengidinipre Anthony and Dr Ademola Kaka and they used the opportunity to emphasize the importance of strong collaboration between the Board and NOSDRA in view of NOSDRA’s role in testing of research breakthroughs.

SBPL was represented at the meeting by the lead researcher, Olufolahan Emmanuel-Tella and Rowland Tella while NOSDRA representatives included Oladipo Obanena, Oluyinka Okunubi, John Lahu among others.

NCDMB trains Project 100 companies on Project Management

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has concluded Project Production Management (PPM) training for the first batch of Project 100 beneficiaries.

The training held for one week in Lagos and demonstrated the Board’s commitment towards the realization of the objectives and aspirations of Project 100 and the targets of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010 and the Nigerian Content 10- Year Strategic Roadmap.

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB; Engr. Simbi Wabote represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Patrick Daziba Obah explained that the training would help to address the current gaps in project delivery, project failure and inculcate in the beneficiaries the capacities for effective project delivery and Project Production Management.

According to him, “As part of the mandate of the Board, we have over the years invested significant resources in project management training either through the direct intervention or project based training, all with a singular objective that we crown our excellent plan with quality delivery to ensure steady flow of investment in country.

He added that ”you cannot build a reputation based on the best plans; you have to compliment your plans with quality delivery.”

Also speaking, the General Manger, Capacity Building NCDMB, Dr. Ama Ikuru explained that Project 100 seeks to nurture 100 Nigerian wholly owned oil and gas service providers in a competitive and sustainable manner and through targeted interventions into larger scale players that create high impact.

In her remarks, the Managing Director, Wider Perspective, Mrs. Edughom Hanson thanked the Board for initiating the training and encouraged beneficiaries to actively participate and be fully equipped in tackling project management so as to add more value to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

NCDMB pledges Human Capacity support to Brentex Petroleum Services

… enjoins operators to show commitment to in-country value addition

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will partner with Brentex Petroleum Services Limited to train youths and community members so they can be part of the company’s LSAW Pipe Mill manufacturing facility, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote has said.

The Executive Secretary stated this during the facility and evaluation visit he undertook to Brentex’s pipe mill site at the Free Trade Zone in Calabar. He disclosed the Board’s policy thrust of giving first consideration to operators in the oil and gas industry that show commitment by putting investment in-country to enhance job creation and value addition.

While lauding Brentex Petroleum for the progress so far made, the Executive Secretary pointed that the commitment shown by the company through its array of equipment stacked at the site during his first visit in 2017 indicated its resolve to grow in-country capacity in line with the Board’s directive that no company will import pipes into Nigeria without making an investment in the country.

Dwelling further on the opportunities, Engr. Wabote said “Granted that one cannot produce the total array of pipes required in the industry because we have different kinds of pipes with varying diameters, and no one factory can produce all of them. The Board took a policy decision that so long as you have invested, you have a right of first refusal to procure any other type of pipes that we do not produce in-country.”

He further stated that the facility is strategically located at the Calabar Free Trade Zone having a sea port where raw materials will come in from to revive the trade zone that is almost going comatose in terms of activities and will boost activities of NOGaPS in the state. He added that NCDMB is massively investing in Cross River State with the NOGaPS site at Odukpani which is a 25-hectare industrial park to incubate manufacturing activities in the oil and gas sector and beyond.

According to him, “Work is actively ongoing at the NOGaPS site, thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari who magnanimously approved the construction of the industrial park in Cross River State.” The intent, according to the Executive Secretary, is for government to create jobs and in-country value addition within the next ten to twenty-five years in a bid to diversify the economy.

With investment in pipe mills such as Yulong in Lagos and SCC in Abuja, Engr. Wabote expressed delight on the progress of work so far made by Brentex Petroleum in Calabar as available statistics has it that the company has installed 21 kilometres of board piles across the surface of the pipe mill on the construction site, including capacity to hold onto overhead cranes that will be installed.

 

He enjoined youths in the host communities at the Free Trade Zone to ensure they give their maximum support to Brentex as the investment brought to their community is for their future and tasked them to actively protect it. He further appealed to the Government of Cross River State to cooperate with Brentex and continue to ensure that industrialization is realized in the state by a show of commitment as the Board is poised to work with the company so long as they are ready to ensure that the LSAW pipe mill is completed and commissioned on time.

 

In his remarks, the Managing Director of Brentex Petroleum Services Limited, Mr. Chidi Nzerem expressed delight at the visit paid its facility by the Board and the support it has received so far. He indicated that the project will cost the company over N5Billion as they had finalized arrangement for On-the-job training with an Original Equipment Manufacturer to train its employees for two years, for them to take over once the company starts production.

 

He also commended the host communities of Ikot Ansa in Calabar for their peaceful and receptive co-existence with the company as they are committed to their corporate social responsibility with them.  Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary to the Cross River State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Patrick Omotete who spoke through his Director of Administration, Mr. Thomas Atem pledged the state government’s continuous partnership and support to investors in the area in line with the state’s industrialization policy with a bid to generate revenue and create employment opportunities.

In a goodwill message at the occasion, the Executive Vice Chairman of the company, Mr. Sani Abubakar commended the Executive Secretary for his support so far to the project and pledged his company’s commitment to the ideals of Local Content while anticipating the Board’s support in other areas of its operations and that of the various stakeholders.

Speaking on behalf of Youth Leaders from Host Communities, a representative and Youths President of the Host Communities, Engr. Henry Effiom expressed gratitude to the management of the company for choosing their community to site the LSAW pipe mill project and commended them for their initiative in keeping in touch with the host communities. He maintained that the leadership of the host communities is positive about progress and pledged to maintain a conducive working environment so that the expected goal of the project will be achieved.

NCDMB to roll out Gender Friendly Policies for Oil Industry

Women operators in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will soon benefit from gender friendly policies on access to funding, award of contracts and support for research and development, courtesy of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote announced this at the close of the workshop it organised for women in oil and gas industry on Thursday in Lagos.

He noted that since the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act was instituted as a deliberate agenda to get more Nigerians to participate in the oil and gas industry, there should also be special initiatives to encourage women participation in the sector.

He quoted a recent study by the Global Energy Talent Index Report which indicated that there is a chronic shortage of women in the oil and gas industry.

”It is estimated that women occupy about 50 percent of non-technical positions at entry level compared to only 15 percent of technical and field role positions.

“Gender diversity decreases with seniority with only a tiny proportion of women in executive positions. The percentage of women in the industry drops over time from 36 percent 24 percent between the middle and executive level.”

He said NCDMB will review its strategy on the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund), adding that ”access to finance is very important and we will look at our policy to see how we can support women who are serious to do business.”

Already two companies managed by women have benefitted from the NCI Fund because NCDMB took deliberate actions to ensure that, Wabote said.

The Executive Secretary assured that the Board would work with project promoters in the oil and gas industry to ensure the award of some contracts to companies owned by women, including the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company, which is set to start the execution of the Train 7 project.

NCDMB would also encourage the study of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by young girls in secondary schools and drive the collation of data on women who participate in various sectors of the oil and gas industry, so they can receive support, he promised.

The Executive Secretary confirmed that ”out of the total number trained by the Board, women constitute about 20 percent of the trainees and we hope to increase the number of women trained to meet up the industry skilled labour demand.”

Delivering the keynote address at the event, the Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan commended the Executive Secretary NCDMB for organising the workshop irrespective of his gender, stating that Engr. Simbi is an epitome of what humanity stands for. She expressed hope that the workshop would catalyse other dialogues to be initiated by the Board and complement other ongoing activities, programmes and policies of government to propel Nigeria to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goals 4, 5 and 10.

She insisted that Nigeria should “go beyond the rhetoric of having a quota for women in decision making or other
strategic positions by ensuring that the country
maximizes the economic potential of its whole labour force by promoting equal rights, access and opportunities for all at all levels.”

She emphasized that effective implementation of gender related policies is dependent on actions taken by women to acquire the
requisite skills for technical positions taking into cognizance that affirmative action is not geared towards jettisoning quality for quantity.

 

Mrs. Yemi-Esan underscored the need for present and aspiring female industry professionals to pursue technically inclined disciplines, which will in turn expose them to better opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

She assured of the commitment and collaboration of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to facilitate the formulation of gender smart policies as well as supporting relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies in gathering reliable women specific data for the industry.

“We will also uphold gender-responsible budgeting through the expansion of gender desks, which are targeted at ensuring the inclusion of women and girls in their respective activities,” she said.

In a goodwill message she delivered at the event, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman charged career women to define themselves around capacity and capability and not just because they are women. “When you get there, you must prove that you are capable.”

She charged persons in authority to mentor young girls and consciously accommodate the needs of young working mums, so they can remain in employment and gain needed experience and competences that will position them for promotion into executive positions years later.

“You need to give a long rope to the mum that doesn’t come to work because her child was vaccinated or has to attend a school function for her child,” she said.

The workshop featured three panel discussions on Key success factors for female corporate executives and entrepreneurs in oil and gas industry; Partnerships, Programmes and Structures for women in the oil and gas industry and Overcoming barriers to career progression and mentoring the next generation.