NCDMB signs 8 contracts for Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom Oil & Gas Parks

…Host communities to get 80% labour slots

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Tuesday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State signed eight contracts for the development of ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGAPS) projects in Bayelsa, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.

The beneficiary companies include O.K. Isokariari & Sons, Megastar, EST Masters, Altex, Faithplant, Erdis, and Linzo. Two of the projects will be executed at the park located at Ikwe, Onna Local Government Area of Ibom State and they entail the sandfill and fenceworks of the 31hectares of land mapped out for the project.

Similarly, three contracts will be carried out at the Bayelsa park situated at Ogbialand and they include the construction of hotels, blocks, mini park estate, construction of security and administration block and construction of capacity building center. In the same vein, four projects were pencilled down at this stage for the Cross River state park, located at Odukpani and they include the construction of security and administrative blocks, erection of capacity building centers, construction of internal roads, drainage system and construction of hostels and mini park estate.

In his remarks at the event, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote explained that NOGAPS was conceived to develop facilities close to oil fields where manufacturing of oil and gas components can be carried out. He described NOGAPS as the Board’s flagship project, which is in line with the mandate ”to develop indigenous capacities for the oil and gas Industry by creating the enabling environment for in-country domiciliation of manufacturing and fabrication of oil and gas components.”

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the award of the contracts and underscored the key roles played by the Bureau of Public Procurement and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in driving the projects so far. He expressed optimism that the delivery of the contracts will help to further develop the contractors’capacities as well as the communities hosting the industrial parks.

Wabote pointed out that the seven successful contractors were wholly indigenous firms, stressing that the Board was practising Local Content in its projects. He emphasised that the contracts included provisions for hiring a minimum of 80 percent of all ‘unskilled labour’ from the host and immediate communities for the project implementation. He added that ”a minimum of 50 percent of the semi-skilled and 20 percent of the skilled labour requirements are also expected to be sourced from the host and immediate communities except where there is no response to such advertised positions from the community. Community suppliers shall be included in the supply of sand, granite, water, fuel, and other items as determined by the contractor. Such supplies shall be to the quality required and of fair market price.“

He advised the contractors to build the capacities of indigenes of the host communities to participate in the projects, assuming the right competencies could not be found amongst them before the start of the projects.

The Executive Secretary further charged the contractors to ensure safety and security at the sites and promote cordial and harmonious relationship with the communities as well as with other contractors on site. “Adopt cooperative approach to the various interface issues that will come up on site. Ensure that you deliver on time, within budget, and to the quality specified to boost your profile as local contractors we are proud to associate with.” He promised to organise sessions with the respective host communities where the contractors would be formally introduced to key stakeholders.

Responding on behalf of the contractors, the Managing Director of Megastar Technical and Construction Company Limited, Arch Harcourt Adukeh thanked NCDMB for the opportunity to contribute to delivery of the oil and gas parks. He expressed optimism that several stakeholders will benefit if the parks are developed and operated as envisaged. He promised that the companies will keep to the terms of their contract and collaborate amongst themselves in the delivery of their various scopes.

Executive Secretary tasks Service Companies on IOCs Standards

Nigerian oil and gas service companies and manufacturing firms should strive to meet the standards set by the international oil companies so they would get patronised, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has advised.

He gave the counsel recently when he visited Tranos Nigeria Limited in Lagos in company of some management of NCDMB and senior representatives of select oil and gas companies.

He stressed that despite government’s drive for Nigerian Content, the oil and gas industry will not compromise quality, hence the need for local firms to meet the required standards, so they can be added to the operating companies’ approved vendors lists. He also charged international operating companies to support local companies in their quest to meet their standards and specifications.

The Executive Secretary noted that several Nigerian companies were investing and setting up servicing and manufacturing facilities and assured that the Federal Government would ensure that they get patronised by the industry so they can employ more Nigerians. He added that ”for every one person employed, 10 lives are affected by association. We have to build our manufacturing base alongside agriculture because they are the major employers of labour.”

He commended Tranos for its investments, noting that the size of the facility was bigger than many foreign yards that produce components imported for the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Earlier in his presentation, the Managing Director of Tranos, Mr. Jude Abalaka said the company manufactures cable trays and ladders that can be used both onshore and offshore in the oil and gas industry and they meet international standards. He added that the company manufactures various generator canopies, enclosures that can be utilised for various electrical power purposes, including as cover for mechanical and rotating equipment and cabinet for various electrical and telecommunication equipment. He also stated that the company produces various skids and modules for onshore and offshore oil and gas applications.

The company’s products line also includes switches and sockets, engineering and fabrication as well as maintenance of oil and gas facilities, he added.

On the company’s growth plans, Abalaka said Tranos was currently expanding its capacity for manufacturing cable trays and ladders and it will grow from the current capacity of 200m per day to 7200m per day, with the target market being the demand from greenfield and brownfield oil and gas projects as well as demand in the industrial sector.” He projected that the facility will start production in September 2020 and will meet all the cable tray and ladder needs of Nigeria, with the possibility of exporting to other African countries.

On gaskets, Abalaka stated that no Nigeria company was manufacturing locally despite it being a major requirement in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. For this reason he said, “we have started placing orders for gasket manufacturing equipment and we will begin the local manufacture of semi-metallic spiral wound and soft cut gaskets in February/March 2010.”

The Managing Director solicited for the Board’s support ”for the procurement of Tranos’ products for upcoming oil and gas projects, not limited to BSWA, NLNG Train 7, Ikike Project, Ibot WH Project and other EPCI projects.” He also sought assistance with products qualification, certifications and acceptance into approved vendors’ lists of operating companies and inclusion in the NCDMB’s research and development initiatives on the basis of its proven capacity to innovate creative productions in-country.

NCDMB, Senate open NCDMB ICT Centre in Lagos

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has commissioned an Information and Communication Technology Centre at Opebi Senior Grammar School in Ikeja Local Government Area, Lagos state. The centre was attracted by the former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content in the 8th National Assembly, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola.

The centre will enable the learning of information communication technology by secondary school students in a conducive environment. The center is equipped with state of the art computers, projectors, printer, photocopier and is powered by a generating set with a backup inverter to ensure stable and constant power supply.

Speaking at the event, Adeola, who represents Lagos West Senatorial District stated that he was excited to commission the ICT Centre which he facilitated. According to him, “I know what it means to be poor and that is why I do everything I can to provide the best and free education for my people”. He noted that technology has become fast paced across the world and the ICT facilities will ensure that young persons from Lagos State are not be left behind.

He added that the ICT centre comes with 30 brand new computers, 20KVA generator, Inverter batteries, two air conditioners for each room, uninterrupted internet service and free diesel supply.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote explained that the Board’s mandate was principally to build human and material capacities in the oil and gas industry. He added that the Board was working to create employment opportunities, increase the number of industry contracts awarded to indigenous service companies and incubate local research in the country.

The Executive Secretary who was represented by the General Manager, Corporate Communications and Zonal Coordination, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah said the center will also create opportunities for senior secondary students to prepare adequately of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). He added that the ICT Centre has computer instructors, internet facility and a maintenance contract.

In her remarks, the Principal, Opebi Senior Grammar School, Mrs. Grace Adepeju Akande thanked the Board for siting the ICT Centre in the school. She assured the Board of the safety and careful utilization of the facility.

NCDMB, Danvic Petroleum train 18 lecturers on Geosciences Software

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Danvic Petroleum International have begun the training of 18 lecturers of Geology and Geophysics on OpendTect Seismic Interpretation Software. The Software is widely used by operating companies in the oil and gas industry and it enhances the discovery of hydrocarbon resources.

The training opened in Abuja this week and the participating lecturers were drawn from six universities, three each from Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State; Federal University of Technology (FUT) Owerri, Imo State; Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, Niger State; Federal University of Technology (FUT) Akure, Ondo State; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State and University of Maiduguri, Borno State.
The scope of the training include Software training, Hardware maintenance and Data processing and Interpretation.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote stated that Danvic Petroleum and her oversea partner, dGB Earth Sciences Netherlands provided the OpendTect Software free of charge. He noted that the cost of this software for the six universities amounted to over US$1.2m.
The Executive Secretary who was represented by the Director, Planning Research and Statistics, NCDMB, Mr. Patrick Daziba Obah confirmed that ExxonMobil supported the programme by donating workstations that would hoist the software in three universities – NDU Bayelsa, FUT Owerri and ABU Zaria. Similarly, Chevron donated the workstations for FUT Akure while Sapettro donated the workstation for FUT Minna.

He stated that the training and donation of the software and workstations falls within the NCDMB’s Adopt a Faculty (AAFac) Initiative. According to him, the AAFac programme seeks to link academic institutions with the oil and gas industry through deliberate interventions in the areas of infrastructure development, learning and knowledge exchange, alignment of curriculum to industry needs and research and development.
Obah stressed that “academic institutions provide the ecosystem for manpower development and innovation required to drive exploration and production activities in the oil and gas industry.”
This he said underscored the importance of establishing sustainable collaboration between academia and industry operators under a structured programme.
To check the redundancy or under-utilisation of these equipment, Obah requested the international operating companies to provide live data to schools for processing and onward utilization by operators, carry out scheduled maintenance programme for the workstations and replace workstations with modern versions as well train and retrain at least three lecturers on the use of the workstations and software.

He also charged the universities to fully maximize the software packages to drive the enhancement of Geoscience education in their institutions.
The Managing Director of Danvic Petroleum, Dr Mayowa Afe expressed optimism that knowledge of the software by the university lecturers will enhance the training of students in Geology and Geophysics, thereby making them more employable and relevant to the needs of the oil and gas industry after graduation.

He noted that such programmes would also help to address the scenario where oil and gas companies prefer foreign expatriates to graduates produced by Nigerian universities because of the knowledge gap between the two groups, particularly in specialized areas of the oil and gas industry, where exposure to update to technology is necessary.
He added that the training would “increase the employment potential of students after graduation thereby reducing their exposure to violent and criminal activities, validate skills and knowledge of lecturers for effective training and teaching of future geoscientists and achieve deeper specialization with a widely used automated tool in the oil and gas market.”

Afe charged the Federal Government to invest more in Nigerian universities rather than only sending out graduates for overseas studies. He also highlighted the need to review the curriculum of universities to reflect current realities and needs of employers, so as to increase the employment potentialities of graduates.

The Vice Chancellor of Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Prof. Samuel G. Edonmiekumo stated that the assistance by NCDMB and the oil companies would help bridge the technology gap between universities and the oil and gas industry. “This will impact generations of graduates,” he added.

Content Fund: NCDMB to block debtor firms from projects

Operating and service oil and gas companies that default in remitting one percent of the value of their contracts to the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) would henceforth be blocked from participating in the industry tendering processes by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). Such non-compliant companies would also be suspended from getting statutory clearances such as the processing of Expatriate Quota applications.

The Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote stated this on Monday at the 2019 Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja and added that the Board also ”reserved the right to refer such economic sabotage to the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further action in line with our Service Level Agreement.”

He explained that the remittance of one percent of the value of contracts awarded in the upstream section of the oil and gas industry was mandatory under Section 104 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD Act). He regretted however that many companies continued to contravene this provision of the Act, some through non-deduction of the statutory fee, non-remittance of amount deducted at source and mis-interpretation of the applicability of the provisions.

He added that the level of infractions by some firms had been revealed with the deployment of the NCDF Remittance Forensic Audit in November 2018, using third party chartered accounting firms.

Wabote commended operating and service oil companies that have owned up to their indebtedness and have started addressing their infractions, adding that ”a greater commendation goes to those who diligently make their remittances accurately without any compulsion form the Board.”

He confirmed that the Board would be willing to discuss with debtor companies on implementing structured payment plans, but would not entertain pleas to write off any indebtedness.

 

Wabote gave an account of the utilisation of the NCDF, noting that ”with this Fund, we have been able to support investments and collaborate with industry stakeholders with the roll-out of the $200m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund), partnership with project promoters in the establishment of modular refineries, and exited appropriation to become a self-funding agency of government.”

He added that the NCDF has also enabled the Board to progress the construction of its new headquarters building in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and industrial parks, provide support for Project-100 beneficiaries, fund Human Capacity Development programs and deliver other activities.

The Executive Secretary confirmed that NCDMB had so far disbursed US$160m out of the US$200m NCI Fund as loans to oil companies for the development of capacity, among others. He said the NCI Fund managed by the Bank of Industry has been very successful. “Today we probably have about $40m left because $160m has been accessed by Nigerian companies to build capacity.”

Providing updates on other programmes of the Board, Wabote said NCDMB will progress the establishment of a research and innovation hub in its headquarters building and launch the $50 Million Nigerian Content Research Fund. According to him, ”our go-forward plan include the launch of an online integrated research portal for receiving, processing and monitoring R&D projects to further drive visibility and industry compliance with the provisions of the Act. It will also serve as a tool for communicating R&D achievements in the oil and gas industry.”

He also reported that the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council had been inaugurated to provide policy support to the Board on R&D delivery. ”We have also developed the NCDMB 10 year R&D roadmap, which defines focus areas for R&D intervention and key result areas.”

The Executive Secretary also reported that the Board had signed three Service Level Agreements with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company, the Oil Producers Trade Section, on behalf of the international operating companies and Indigenous Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), which cover over 95 percent of industry operators.

He said the implementation of the SLA has aided timely completion of the reviews of key projects such as Total’s Ikike, SPDC’s Assa North and NLNG Train-7. The Board had also carried out tailored reviews of projects captured in the SLA to further enhance Ease of Doing Business, he said.

NCDMB issues NCCC on Total’s Ikike Project

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB on Tuesday issued the Nigerian Content Compliance Certificate (NCCC) for the Ikike field development to Total Exploration and Production Company.

The Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote issued the Certificate to the outgoing Managing Director of Total E&P, Mr.Nicolas Terraz at the sidelines of the 2019 Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja.

The issuance of the NCCC marks the conclusion of the technical and commercial evaluations on the Ikike project by the NCDMB, National Petroleum Investment and Management Service (NAPIMS) and Total. The NCCC paves the way for the commencement of the execution phase of the project.

A typical NCCC is the output of the tendering processes on a project and contains the selected contractors, Nigerian Content commitments and other details, including scopes, tonnage, man hours, costs for various scopes among other information. It forms the guidebook for monitoring the execution of the project.

The Executive Secretary commended Total for reaching the milestone, which is coming after the conclusion of the Egina Deepwater Project, which recorded landmark Nigerian Content accomplishments. He noted that Total would be spending about US$500m dollars executing the Ikike Project and it is expected to deepen Nigerian Content implementation, create huge work opportunities for local service companies and thousands of employment prospects for qualified young Nigerians. He said, ”today marks the official kick-off of Total Ikike Project in Nigeria. It is one of the projects we talked about during the 2019 Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair. They have also started working on the Preowei Project.”

Wabote also commended Mr. Terraz for his sterling accomplishments as the Managing Director of Total and charged the incoming MD, Mr. Mike Sangster to build on the achievements of his predecessor.

The Ikike field is located in the OML 99 license offshore Nigeria, with Total being the operator with a 40 percent stake. The project is expected to be developed as a tie-back to Amenam (5 wells) platform. The field is estimated to hold reserves of 70 million barrels of oil equivalent.

NCDMB unveils guidelines for utilization of local barite and drilling fluids

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has unveiled Guidelines on the use of local manufactured barites within the oil and gas industry.

The unveiling was done by the Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote in presence of operating and oil service companies and some drilling fluid companies in Abuja on Thursday.

Delivering the keynote address at the event, Wabote pointed that the core mandate of the Board is to drive the development and utilization of local capacity and capabilities, including materials and natural resources.

Wabote who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistic, Mr. Patrick Obah said the Board had been promoting the sustainable production of Barite and Drilling Fluids since inception in 2010, in line with industry requirements and standards of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.

He affirmed that ”With the approval and implementation of this Guideline the use of imported barite in the oil and Gas industry will no longer be supported by the Board. We will work with the industry to ensure the rapid actualization of measures required to enforce total ban of the use of imported barite and drilling fluids in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry in line with the provisions and aspirations of this Guideline and the NOGICD Act of 2010.”

Speaking on the guidelines, the General Manager, Capacity Building Division, Dr. Ama Ikuru stated that it sets out to support the capacity and capabilities of Nigerian Companies involved in production, procurement, supply and utilization of the products.

The Guidelines will also attract investments to the Barite and Drilling Fluids Supply Value Chain, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry and the mining sector of the Nigerian economy.

He disclosed that the effective date for implementation is January 1, 2020 to enable the companies get the required certification to enable them participate

In his remarks, the President of AMAPOB, Mr. Stephen Alao commended the Board for launching the guideline to support the activities of the group and ensure patronage of the local barite and drilling fluids. He pledged the group’s readiness to provide quality products that can serve the industry.

NCDMB acquires equity in Azikel’s 12000bpd Modular Refinery

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Monday acquired equity in the 12,000barrels per day Azikel Hydroskimming Modular refinery being constructed by Azikel Petroleum Limited at Obunagha, Gbarain, Bayelsa State.

When completed and operational in 2021, the refinery will produce about 1.3million litres of premium motor spirit (petrol) as well as diesel, kerosene, mixed liquefied petroleum gas (cooking gas) and a small percentage of heavy fuel oil.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote and the Director of Finance and Personnel Management, Mr. Isaac Yalah signed the Shareholders Agreement and the Share Subscription Agreement during a ceremony at the Board’s office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, while the President of Azikel Petroleum Limited, Dr. Eruani Azibapu Godbless and Vice President, Mr. Presley Asemota signed for the company.

Wabote described the Azikel modular refinery as the second and largest so far in the Board’s portfolio of support for the construction of modular refineries, noting that the partnership had huge prospects in jobs creation, value retention, petroleum products availability and in the development of in-country capability. He added that ’’the project fits perfectly with our vision to serve as a catalyst for the development of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.”

 

He said NCDMB was in the final stages of commencing partnership in the development of another modular refinery in Calabar, Cross River state before the end of 2019. According to him, ’’we are proud to be part of the journey to wean off our dear country from massive importation of petroleum products. Our data analytics show that we can more than double the contribution of the oil sector to the Gross Domestic Product if we achieve the current growth trajectory with the refurbishment of existing refineries, completion of the Dangote Refinery, and ongoing modular refineries, to bring refining to about 50 percent of our oil production capacity from the current level of below 20 percent.”

The Executive Secretary further explained that the Board’s intervention extends to gas processing and utilization and it had progressed discussions with partners on the establishment of LPG cylinders manufacturing plant, LPG depots, and gas processing facilities. ’’One of the projects of interest is the establishment of an Inland LPG Depot in Abuja to complement Federal Government’s LPG Penetration Initiative. This project is part of the gas value chain as it utilises condensate which is one of the bye-products from gas processing.”

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his foresight in approving the licensing of modular refineries as a strategic solution for promoting local refining of petroleum products, job creation and industrialization. He also announced that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) would partner with Azikel Refinery by providing it crude feedstock from its oil fields.

In his comments, Dr. Eruani described NCDMB’s partnership in the modular refinery project as historic, highlighting that the Board has gone beyond its role as a regulatory agency to also serve as a catalytic agent to develop the infrastructure needed to address insufficiency of refined petroleum products in Nigeria.

”The equity participation from NCDMB sends positive signals not just to the local people but to the international community. This confirms to the international community that the Nigerian state is ready to revive the economy and that Bayelsa State is well positioned to ensure that more investors come in and domicile their investments.”

He noted that the company was licensed in 2015 as part of the current administration’s efforts to liberalize the downstream sectors for private participation and it had maintained the lead among 36 other licensed modular refineries.

Eruani confirmed that products from Azikel Refinery would meet the petroleum needs of residents in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta region, noting that ”we are creating industrialization and employment, rejigging the economy of the Niger Delta people and Bayelsa State.”

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).