Nigerian Gas Association commends NCDMB, seeks collaboration

The new Executive Council of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) has commended the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote for the phenomenal strides the Board is making in capacity building, vendor development and enlightenment of stakeholders on the Nigerian Content Act.

President of the Association, Mrs. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo made the remarks when she led the current NGA Council on a courtesy visit to the Board’s Abuja liaison office on Thursday.

She expressed a strong desire for the Board to partner with the NGA to strengthen their advocacy for effective gas utilization and promotion of gas commercialization programme.

She said that the essence of the visit was to intimate the Board about the strategic direction of the current leadership of NGA and their readiness to move away from merely complaining about the challenges of the industry to public policy and legislation with a view to promoting value addition through the gas subsector.

She informed the Board that one of the goals of the Council is to build a resource centre where reliable and vital data on gas issues can be obtained by investors and other stakeholders. She sought for collaboration of the Board towards actualizing the goal.

She also noted that NGA is interested in capacity building and in-country value creation, noting that gas utilization is the fastest path to Nigeria’s development and transformation.

In his response, the Executive Secretary appreciated the Council for the visit and described the NGA as a critical stakeholder in the oil and gas industry that cannot be ignored. He commended the gender mix in the leadership of the association as well as the lofty achievement of having one of its members belonging to the leadership of International Gas Association, Engr. Emeka Ene, being the first Nigerian to attain such height.

Wabote assured the NGA Council of the Board’s willingness to support the association to fulfill their objectives considering the criticality of gas to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

On the plan to establish a resource centre, he promised to support the association provided they are willing to set up it in the new NCDMB 17 storey headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, which has available accommodation.

The Executive Secretary emphasized that such centre will be highly valued by the industry because there is currently little or no reliable data on gas in the country. He encouraged the association to remain focused in their advocacy for better policy and legislative framework on gas development and utilization in Nigeria. He assured the NGA that the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) is available to support every credible investment in oil and gas value chain. He further informed the council to write to the Board to be incorporated into the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) as a sub –committee, so that the association can utilize the platform to advise the Board on vital areas of intervention to deepen Nigerian Content performance and in country value creation.

He also charged the council to enlighten their members on how to make the required remittance on the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF).

In his remarks, the immediate past president of NGA Engr. Dada Thomas commended the Board for the great stride it had recorded in the implementation of the Act and challenged the Board to expand the reach of local content to other critical sectors of the economy.

Executive Secretary NCDMB inaugurates Project 100 Project Management Office

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi Wabote on Wednesday inaugurated the Project Management Office for Project 100, an initiative launched by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu on January 31, 2019.

Members of the PMO were drawn from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and they would function within the NCDMB. The PMO would be supported by KPMG, an international consultancy that has been working on the project.

Speaking at the ceremony at the NCDMB Abuja liaison, the Executive Secretary said the members were carefully selected in view of the relevance of their functions in the delivery of the Supplier Development Programs that will drive the growth of Nigerian service companies.

He listed five key areas the PMO will focus on to include managing the ongoing process and refinement of Project 100 strategy, managing the selection, acceleration and graduation process of Project 100 beneficiaries and managing the implementation of initiatives for the various target beneficiaries. Other assignments include developing fact based documentation of performance of Project 100 interventions and impact on local content and managing wide relationships and partnerships with public and private sector entities that support the delivery of Project 100 initiatives and interventions.

He charged members of the PMO to work assiduously to create a pool of high performing large scale enterprises that will impact positively on job creation, retention of industry spend within the Nigerian economy, development of skilled manpower, robust policies, and access to credible data.

Wabote also directed members of the PMO to identify the various areas of interest of the beneficiaries and provide them opportunities with the collaboration of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS). He added that “while we would engage in public tendering, we have to specially look for opportunities. We also need to engage Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and other organizations that carry out procurement outside the Nigerian Petroleum Exchange (NIPEX) System. Project 100 companies must be included in the bidders list of such organizations.”

 

Making a presentation on the operating guidelines of the PMO, the General Manager, Research Strategy and Development, NCDMB, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu explained that the concept of Project 100 was to identify and grow indigenous companies from small players to large enterprises. He said the project hoped to support such companies to grow their annual turnover from about N100m to over N500m, increase job creation and their local content level, train more manpower and acquire cutting edge technology.

 

He listed factors that determined the selection of the beneficiaries to include their impact in the oil and gas sector, status of their registration on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS), compliance with Nigerian Content and their level of regulatory compliance. Other considerations he said, included their ownership status, compelling business plans submitted by the companies and their baseline commitments.

Halilu stated that key performance indicators for Project 100 would include “percent increase in business turnover, percentage increase in employment, percentage increase in local content level from contracts executed and percentage increase in personnel training and certification.”

Support that would be provided to the beneficiaries are Non-Financial interventions and Financial Linkages. The Non-Financial interventions include policy interventions, access to market, capacity building, research development and business insight. The financial linkages include letters of recommendation to access intervention funds and highlighting collaborative opportunities between beneficiaries to enable them take on larger projects.

According to the project execution timeline, the Project Management Office would begin in March 2019 to engage beneficiaries to revalidate expectations and thereafter develop execution plans for targeted interventions. From June 2019 to December 2020, the PMO would begin to implement targeted interventions.

FG launches ‘Project 100’ to support local oil, gas service firms

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources in conjunction with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Thursday launched Project100 to provide institutional and financial support to 100 Indigenous oil and gas service companies.

The project targets indigenous companies offering seismic, marine, engineering and drilling services and will provide financial and non-financial as well as technical support and access to market for the beneficiary companies.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu who performed the official launch said he initiated the Project 100 as an oil and gas industry intervention to identify, recognize and nurture wholly owned indigenous Nigerian oil and gas service companies into large scale players that will create high impact in the economy.

He said the process of selecting the beneficiary companies was very clean and transparent.

The NCDMB which is the lead agency tasked to implement the project said world renowned consultant KPMG conducted the selection process.

Executive Secretary of the NCDMB Engr. Simbi Wabote said a lot of evaluation criteria were used to trim the number of companies who applied adding that 60 companies were chosen among thousands of service companies who applied.

Some of the beneficiary companies include Anzor Nigeria Ltd, B2 Oil and Gas Project Ltd, Energeria Ltd, Gemstone Energy Services Ltd, Jite Projekts Ltd and Mafuta Energy Services Ltd.

The NCDMB and the Bank of Industry (BOI) had in 2017 launched a $200 million Intervention Fund for Nigerian companies involved in manufacturing in the oil and gas industry.

Wabote said, however, the Board was finalizing another financing model. “Within the next couple of months we will launch another financing scheme perhaps without all the bottlenecks that we see today with the BOI and these selected companies will be our focus areas and beneficiaries,” he said.

Buhari, Wabote advocate African collaboration on Energy Infrastructure, Local Content

President Mohammed Buhari and the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote on Monday canvassed for effective collaboration among African nations to enable them jointly develop mega energy infrastructure like refineries, gas turbines and pipelines and create employment opportunities for their citizenry.

The President spoke in Abuja when he declared open the 2019 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, with the theme “Africa on the Global Stage: International Collaboration, Opportunities and the Future.”

Represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Buhari commended African countries for working collaboratively under the aegis of the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), noting that the relationship among the producing nations would enable the movement of specialised skill sets and investors across member states.

He remarked that the role of the African Energy Investment Corporation, a body under APPO, has been expanded to mobilize about $2bn needed to finance identified joint infrastructure.

According to him, “the time for Africa has come. The realities have dawned on us because very soon, unless we protect our border posts, begin to look more at financing that we can find locally to develop the key infrastructure we need in this sector, we would have lost a huge opportunity.”

He harped that it was high time African countries stopped operating in silos and building individual facilities with their limited resources. He added “If we cross the Rubicon and extend hands of infrastructural relationships across Africa, we can build joint pipelines, plants and refineries. We need to protect the African market. That way we would have taken a huge step not only to develop Africa, but also the stabilization of independent African countries.”

He noted that African petroleum producers faced several challenges, which included the immense pressure being put on crude oil price by shale gas, the volatility of crude oil prices, investment limitations and the influence of President Donald Trump of the United States on the global crude oil price.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary NCDMB challenged African oil producing countries to focus intently on creating jobs for their citizenry from industry projects through effective implementation of local content policies. He stressed that only the creation of jobs would halt the illegal and deadly migration of African youths to European nations. He warned that “If we continue to move critical activities of our oil and gas industry and the accompanying jobs outside the country, then our youths will continue to move out to Europe in search of greener pastures.”

FDI needed to grow Local Content-NCDMB

Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and some foreigners are needed for Local Content to thrive in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and allied sectors, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has said.

The Executive Secretary spoke in Abuja on Thursday at a workshop organised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on the Nigerian Content benchmark for schedules of products and services and local products exhibition for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

Wabote was represented by the Director Planning, Research & Statistics in the NCDMB, Mr. Daziba Patrick Obah and he explained that Nigeria is still lacking in some capabilities, hence the need for FDI to support Local Content growth.

He emphasized that Local Content philosophy and its application in Nigeria has no correlation with Nigerianisation or Nationalization of foreign firms.  “It is neither a Protectionism force nor anti-foreigners in its inclination, and must not be applied interchangeably with Corporate Social Responsibility,” he added.

Obah stressed that “Nigerian Content is a very serious stakeholder business initiative, designed to promote domestication and domiciliation of value adding activities in-country through manufacturing, procurement, research & development and employment & training.”

Shedding light on Board’s monitoring and enforcement of the provisions of the Nigerian Content Act, he disclosed that “our Monitoring and Evaluation Framework adopts a two pronged approach namely, Compliance & Performance Monitoring and Intervention Monitoring.”

He explained that in cases where cases of non-compliance or other infractions are established against some companies, the Board adopts measures which include litigation, naming and shaming, blacklisting from future tenders, remediation measures and others.

Wabote, Okoroafor canvass innovation, collaboration among O&G players

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi Wabote and the President, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Engr. Bank-Anthony Okoroafor have identified innovation and collaboration among industry stakeholders as key ingredients that would sustain and enable growth of the oil and gas sector.

Wabote made this assertion while delivering the keynote address at the 3rd West African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (WAIPEC) organized by Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
Speaking on the theme “Sustaining oil and gas production through innovation and collaboration”, Wabote stated that innovation enabled the oil sector get to frontiers that were considered impossible in the past. He stressed that a business without innovation might not explore opportunities to collaborate with other businesses for sustainable production and project execution capability.
Stressing the need for collaboration, the NCDMB boss reiterated that the Africa energy map presents huge opportunities for the region but the expected collaboration amongst businesses has been slow so far.
According to him “the hydrocarbon discoveries in the West African region present opportunities for innovation and collaboration across borders to overcome barriers. ECOWAS must remain at the forefront of pulling down these barriers rapidly and double the current $300billion annual trade level across the region on the back of oil and gas discoveries.”
Wabote highlighted the different collaborative approaches the Board has employed in building local capacities in-country and increasing the level of compliance to the NOGICD Act 2010. He said, “We are in collaboration with NIMASA on vessel categorisation and we also have a standing joint committee with the Nigerian Customs Service to deal with those who think they can smuggle vessels into the country through the back door.”
He added that in order to resolve infractions and establish pathway to restitution, the Board engaged the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) respectively, to collaborate on how to address recalcitrant offenders against the NOGICD Act.
In his remarks, Okoroafor underscored the need for strategic collaboration and knowledge sharing between Nigeria and new entrants in the oil and gas market in the region. He stated that players in the industry needed to brainstorm on how to adopt artificial intelligence in the operations of the sector.
Okoroafor said “the need for collaboration cannot be overemphasised especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The oil and gas in Nigeria is over 60 years and a lot of experiences have been gathered over the years. The new entrants into the market do not need to go through the route that Nigeria went and repeat the same mistake. We need to strategically collaborate and share experiences.”

NCDMB, Niger Delta University to build closer R&D partnership

The Niger Delta University (NDU), Bayelsa State has sought for closer collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) particularly in Research and Development.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Samuel G. Edonmiekumo made the request when he visited the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote on Tuesday at the Board’s corporate headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

He enumerated the research interests of the university and expertise which could form the basis of strong partnership between the two institutions. He also called on the Board to always consider and give priority to NDU in all NCDMB programmes, particularly in Research and Development.

Edonmiekumo noted that it was the university’s maiden visit to Engr. Wabote since the latter’s appointment as the Executive Secretary over three years ago. He also commended the Board for various capacity development interventions it had initiated in the university, including the donation of Econometric Centre, staff capacity building among other support.  He explained that part of the reason for the visit was to remind the Board that since NDU was selected by the Board as one of the Centres of Excellence for Research, the partnership was yet to be activated.

In his response, Wabote thanked the academics for the visit and interest to deepen the relationship with the Board. He clarified that the Centre of Excellence programme strategy is currently being fine tuned by the Board and that as soon as the roadmap is clearly articulated, it would commence in earnest.

He recalled that the Board invited NDU to the Board’s R & D Colloquium which took place in the last quarter of 2017 and assured the NDU team that the Board will always give due preference to the university as requested.

Wabote also asked the NDU management to furnish the Board in writing with full information on all ongoing research work and innovation pioneered by the university, noting that this would enable the Research and Development Directorate to follow up in order to take some of the projects to deployment and commercialization. He also promised to visit the university to see the state of affairs for himself and determine possible areas of collaboration.

The Vice Chancellor was accompanied on the visit by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Donbebe; Director, Alliance and Linkages, Prof. Akllen Agih; Registrar, Mrs. Effua Berepubo; Provost Medical College, Prof. B.G. Fente; Dean Engineering, Prof. E. Adigio and Director Works, Engr. Emma Frank-Opigo.

NAOC donates geosciences workstations to 3 universities

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has donated three geosciences workstations to the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, University of Ibadan, Oyo State and Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Adamawa State.

The workstations are equipped with nine OpendTect Software licences, worth $200,000, but were provided free by Danvic Petroleum Nigeria, with a commitment to upgrade them when necessary.

The presentation ceremony was held at NAOC’s head office in Abuja on Tuesday and was attended by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NCDMB, Mr. Daziba Patrick Obah, who represented the Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote.

The Managing Director of NAOC, Mr. Lorenzo Fiorillo, in his remarks at the event, stated that the initiative is part of the company’s support and collaboration with Nigerian universities to promote research and development.

He described the donation as “another critical step in pursuit of this collaboration and in furtherance of ENI’s commitment to support the government of Nigeria in closing identified skill gaps in the oil and gas sector, promote capacity building and local content development.”

In addition to the donation, the company organised an intensive training programme for 15 senior lecturers drawn from the three universities on the use of the workstations and the OpendTect Software.

Fiorillo added that the capacity building initiative is “to build the capacity of geosciences lecturers who will pass on the knowledge to their students, improve the quality of young geosciences graduates in Nigeria and close the gaps between the teaching of geosciences in the universities and the needs of the Nigerian oil and gas industry in those specific areas.

“It is also envisaged that the programme would help reduce the cost of training and re-training of employable Nigerian graduates by the oil and gas industry and assist in the standardization of geosciences practice in Nigeria.”

In his remarks, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NCDMB commended NAOC for fulfilling its promise to develop Research and Development in the Nigerian oil and gas space.

He underscored NAOC’s research initiatives, especially the 3-5 years funding, training, and equipping research initiative on deep offshore hydrate management. “We will continue to encourage your company in this regard, expecting that the outcome will be positive and economically viable.”

Obah also advised the universities to use the workstations diligently, so as to derive maximum benefit from them and impart knowledge to the students.

He charged NAOC to deliver on its promise to collaborate in developing the research findings of universities selected at its Indigenous Technology and Universities Collaborative Research Forum & Exhibition held in Port Harcourt in 2017.

“This beautiful initiative should not be allowed to go cold, as we have identified that the only way we can continue to function well in the global space is to actively partake in research and innovative activities.”

The Director noted that the NCDMB R&D Council was constituted in October 2018 to advise the Board on matters related to the R&D.

He stated that “with the inauguration of the R&D Council and the creation of an R&D Fund by NCDMB, we hope that we will be able to provide some interesting results from the upscaling work that is currently being mentored by us, during the next NCDMB R&D Fair and Conference.”

The Managing Director of Danvic Petroleum and President of the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), Dr Mayowa Afe described the NAOC’s initiative as the bedrock of Nigerian Content, which would improve the quality of graduates from Nigerian universities and make them employable by the industry.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof Idowu Olayinka stated that the assistance by NAOC would help bridge the technology gap between universities and the oil and gas industry. “This will impact generations of graduates,” he added.

NTA Yenagoa visits NCDMB, seeks support

The management of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Yenagoa on Tuesday paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote at the Board’s corporate headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The NTA delegation was led by the General Manager of the station, Barrister Emeka Okpala.

The GM expressed happiness for the opportunity of meeting with the Board’s management, noting that the visit was necessary to convey NTA’s appreciation for the enormous support the Board has been giving to NTA Yenagoa and other forms of partnerships with NTA network stations.

Mr. Okpala stated the NCDMB/NTA Science Quiz Competition for secondary schools, which has been wholly funded by NCDMB for five years running has given NTA Yenagoa significant visibility within south/south region of Nigeria. He noted that the Board’s warm disposition and support for NTA Yenagaoa is both exemplary and legendary, calling on other Government Departments and Agencies in Bayelsa to emulate the worthy examples of NCDMB. He asked the Board to continue to sponsor the science quiz programme as it is a useful vector to promote interest in the study of mathematics, science and technological education among young people.

Okpala draw the Executive Secretary’s attention to a number of challenges plaguing his station, including the lack of a generating set to ensure regular power supply to support transmission and dissemination of information.

In his response, Wabote thanked the management of NTA Yenagoa for the visit and interest in collaborating with the Board. He noted that NTA plays a crucial role in public enlightenment considering it wide reach. He explained that since both organizations are federal government agencies in the state, it was expedient to build necessary collaborations to promote government policies, programmes and the mandate of their respective agencies. He noted that it was such consideration that motivated the Board to move its Nigerian Content Weekly TV Programme from Channels Television to NTA for over one year now.

Wabote empathized with NTA Yenagoa on some of the challenges highlighted. He promised to find time to visit NTA premises to see things for himself. In the interim, the Executive Secretary directed the General Manager, Capacity Building in the NCDMB, Dr. Ama Ikuru to liaise with the management of NTA Yenagoa to determine a suitable location for the Board to establish an ICT centre within their premises and promised that a generating set would be donated to the station to enhance their operational efficiency.

NCDMB, AGF partner on Nigerian Content enforcement

The Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) has pledged that the Ministry of Justice would collaborate with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to enforce compliance and prosecute defaulters of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.

The chief law officer made the commitment when the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja recently.

Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Secretary highlighted the need for in-country value retention in the oil and gas industry and compliance by operating and service companies with the provisions of the NOGICD Act.

He asked staff of the Ministry of Justice to acquire knowledge about the Nigerian Content Act and the operations of the Board. This would enable them interpret matters that might be brought to their attention and support the Board in prosecuting defaulters as stated in the Act.

Wabote reiterated the Board’s eagerness to complete the review of the draft Nigerian Content regulations, which are tailored to achieve 70 percent in-country value retention by 2027 and foster the development of Nigerian Content.

In his response, the Minister commended the Board for the great strides it has accomplished and its contributions to the nation’s economy, particularly for growing Nigerian Content from five per cent before the advent of the Act in 2010, to 28 percent presently. He concurred that a key aspect of the Board’s mandate is the responsibility of carrying out compliance monitoring, hence the need for collaboration to prosecute serial offenders of the Act and achieve compliance by other stakeholders.