NCDMB TO COMMENCE GEOSICENCES TRAINING

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board has concluded plans to sponsor the training of young Nigerian Geoscientists.
The pilot programme is expected to train 50 graduates who will be involved in exploration of hydrocarbon deposits and reservoir management.
The training which is billed to start in September was conceived to address the shortage of local capacity in the oil and gas industry, especially in a key area like geosciences.
The list of participants for the five-month long programme was drawn from the Board’s electronic platform-Nigerian Content Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS).
Two renowned training companies, Laser Engineering and Resource Consultant Limited have been selected to provide the training in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
As part of the training, the Board intends to attach the participants to member companies of the Petroleum Technology Association for further practi

Expatriate data capture gathers steam

The expatriate biometric data capture being conducted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board at its headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State is progressing steadily.The exercise which commenced on July 2, 2013 is geared to capture the biometric details of all expatriates working in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry and is now a condition precedent for operating and service companies seeking to secure expatriate quota approvals from the Board.

The details are being uploaded on the electronic platform-Nigerian Content Joint Qualification System, (NOJICJQS) being operated by the Board.

So far, the records of 267 expatriates across Service Companies and Operators have been captured and several other companies have booked slots for the physical exercise.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Ernest Nwapa had at the beginning of the exercise explained that it will help the Board evaluate the skills of the expatriates and confirm that such skills are not available locally in the industry.

It will also assist the Board to electronically track the numbers of expatriates in the industry, their length of stay, compliance with provided succession plans and expected date of exit.

At the completion of the biometric registration, each expatriate will get a unique card, which he or she will produce whenever the monitoring team from the Board come around for periodic verification.

Section 33 of the NOGICD Act mandates operators to apply and receive the approval of the Board before making any application for expatriate quota to the Ministry of Internal Affairs or any other agency of the Federal Government

Among other conditions, the Board requires companies seeking to get expatriate quota approvals for their operations in the oil and gas industry to first advertise the positions to Nigerians through national and international media outfits.

Nigeria lost $100bn to foreign crude tankers

The Nigerian economy lost over $100bn in five decades by allowing its crude oil to be carried exclusively by foreign owned tankers, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa has said.

Speaking on Friday at the launch of two brand new 45,000 metric tons tanker vessels-MT Abiola and MT Igbinosa by an indigenous firm, Ocean Marine Tankers (OMT), Nwapa said the country also lost opportunities to build a virile national carrier fleet on the back of the hundreds of millions of barrels exported every year and equally missed opportunities to train and utilise youths especially from maritime communities of the Niger Delta in formal shipping activities.

He expressed happiness that the trend began to change with the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan and emboldening of relevant officials and agencies to insist that indigenously owned tankers should carry Nigerian crude.

Explaining that the Minister of Petroleum Resource, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke directed in 2012 that the Crude Lifting Guidelines issued by the Board must count in the selection of companies to lift Nigerian Crude, the Executive Secretary said one of the key requirements included ownership of tankers or Nigerian equity in tankers that will carry the crude.

“In 2012, the guidelines were not fully implemented. The excuse was that there was no Nigerian owned tanker but the message was sent around the world that the Jonathan government was insisting that a portion of Nigerian crude must be carried by Nigerian tankers.”

Since then, over four other credible groups had demonstrated to the Board various models they plan to adopt to ensure compliance with Crude Lifting Guidelines issued by the Board in 2012, he said.

Sequel to the guidelines, the Minister of Petroleum Resources will soon come out with regulations to enforce relevant provisions of the Nigerian Content Act, which stipulate that Nigerians owned tankers must be utilized significantly in the transportation of crude oil.

The Executive Secretary commended Ocean Marine Tankers Limited for showing the world that Nigerians can own crude carriers, describing the company’s efforts as a clear demonstration of the confidence investors have in the current administration and a strong belief that government will protect any investment made in line with our laws, policies and aspirations.

He promised that the Board will ensure that any company that invests in crude tankers which meet the technical requirements will be utilized for transporting Nigerian crude.

Nwapa also reported that the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act had resulted in the domination of the industry landscape by Nigerian companies, with tremendous impact on the national economy, such that other sectors are replicating the models established in the oil and gas sector.

He said there are measurable impacts in engineering to fabrication, oil field services, well technology and drilling rigs, marine vessel services, equipment assembly and component manufacture and logistics.

Noting that upgrade of facilities have injected billions of naira into the economy, he listed other areas of increased Nigerian participation include boat building and ship repair, coastal trade under the Cabotageregime, insurance, banking and legal services and  crude oil and product sales.

The two vessels, would be used to supply crude oil to Warri and Kaduna refineries.

Joint Committee on Industrial Park Project inaugurated …members given three weeks to wrap up findings

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in reiterating its commitment to partner with state governments to establish Industrial Park Schemes to create job opportunities for unemployed youths and technological transfer to small and medium scale businesses as well as help these enterprises integrate and participate in industrial activities especially in the oil and gas sector to grow the economy recently constituted the Industrial Park Project Joint Committee with the Government of Bayelsa State.

Speaking at the inauguration, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr. Ayakeme Masa who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Barr. Ebi Collins Daniel stated that the joint committee is charged with the responsibility of looking at the variables in the Industrial Park proposal before the Bayelsa State Government through the Ministry and to discuss general issues relating to this partnership such as the state government’s collaboration with the Board and setting up sub-bodies that will look into critical areas to make the project successful and fast for the progress and development of Bayelsa State, the Niger Delta region and Nigeria at large.

The Commissioner noted that every other mandate not enumerated will be communicated to members as it was the desire of the state government and the Board to give the committee three weeks within which make findings and submit reports so that both parties could adopt a working document for the realization of the Park as the basis that will help the oil and gas bastion based on the deliberations to spur the industrial development of the state.
The Committee, however, has Mr. Tunde Adelana, Director, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Board as Chairman while members include Engr. Ginah O. Ginah, General Manager, Downstream at the Board; Mr. Raphael Opuofoni, Special Assistant to the Commissioner on Investment, Bayelsa State Government and Mr. James Jokori, Director, Finance and Supply in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment. Patience Ranami Abah, Company Secretary, Bayela Property and Investment Company serves as Secretary.

In his response, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Tunde Adelana expressed appreciation for the task given the members with a firm commitment that the committee will discharge its responsibilities considering the time frame. He mentioned that the establishment of an Industrial Park in Bayelsa State is by no means a very critical part of the economic development of the area as it is one of the key thrust of the Board and a project it intends to quickly set up. The Chairman assured that the committee will work collectively to see that the idea of the park comes to light.

Mr. Adelana reflected that the initiative of an Industrial Park was conceived by the Board and incidentally the Bayelsa State Government was also pondering in that direction which brought about a synergy of purpose with same goals and objectives to work as partners in ensuring the framework is on ground. He stated that the Board had already identified a parcel of land around Otuoke which meets all necessary requirements of an Industrial Park as this is part of what the committee will take into consideration.

It could be recalled that the Board earlier this year led a delegation by the Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa to the Government of Bayelsa State to introduce activities of the Board as well as share its plans with the state government. During the visit, the Executive Secretary disclosed the Board’s skills acquisition programme which will be replicated across the country starting from the oil producing states, with an indication that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrial Park Scheme will be launched soon.

In retrospect, Engr. Nwapa announced the Board’s plans to establish more business friendly environment for small businesses noting that it will be achieved through the setting up of Industrial Parks in the nine oil producing states for the purpose of attracting domestic and foreign direct investment, integrate local supply chain and monitor SMEs with a view to having mutual benefits with international firms.
This according to the Executive Secretary would build capacity and create facilities beyond government agencies where the teeming youths can be gainfully employed so it can measure its progress with any indices to be used as a cardinal objective of promoting community participation and integration of community entrepreneurs.

January 2014 targeted for Sector Training Standardization as PETROFAC/OGTAN TNA Team submits Mid-Term Report

In keeping with its vision to develop Centres of Excellence to increase in-country spend for training institutes by identifying, developing and maximizing these institutions in Nigeria to meet international standards, as well as assess the gaps in order to categorize them with a view to working with foreign training entities to benchmark their capabilities, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) engaged PETROFAC – an international training agency, and Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria, (OGTAN) in a collaboration to set up a Training Needs Assessment, (TNA) team on the proposed Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector Technical Training Study ‘Centre of Excellence’ by which a Mid-Term Report was submitted recently.

Congratulating the team on the report, the Executive Secretary of the Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa hinted that the delivery of the mid-term report was crisp and comprehensive as the exercise should be used to support specific areas the Board would further address in a bid to make additional comments without prejudice to the report. He lauded the TNA project as an initiative that assuaged the Federal Government’s determination to create capacity and get people employed through the recently introduced Nigerian Content Employment Initiative, (NCEmI) directly linked to industry skill requirements to fully deepen their participation in exploration and production activities.

Engr. Nwapa indicated the exercise was to grow a service sector training need to push government institutions saddled with the responsibilities for technical training to adopt the needed standards for qualitative training, as the Board would get IOCs to respond to the team’s questionnaire which is one key fact in bringing the industry training needs assessment to bear. He commented that, ‘we have to really work on the major philosophy of what we are going to get at the end of this exercise as the aim of it is not to go too far in writing the report before getting feedback from the Board’. The Executive Secretary enumerated other areas to look into for effective coverage of the exercise to include the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, (PTDF) and National Power Training Institute, (NAPTI), an initiative of the Ministry of Power.

He explained further that, ‘we need to organize a workshop based on the database realized in this exercise, as envisaged in the project scope to show the analyses done by which the Board will use its outcome to find trainers competent to bid for jobs in the oil and gas industry’. The Chief Executive implored the team to come up with criteria that would enable the Board categorize the training programs in terms of infrastructure, size of man-hours, skills categorization and other parameters to be entered in the NOGICJQS such as the amount of spend on training both on JV and Federal Government projects in order to get a statistics as training in Nigeria is currently unstructured.

He further disclosed that the Board is undertaking the exercise to develop the training needs of the industry, and standardize the quality and delivery of training, pointing out that an interim categorization will commence in the last quarter of 2013 as full categorization has been slated for the following year. He enjoined operators to be fully categorized during the interim period as industry standardization will commence January 1, 2014. Engr. Nwapa while thanking the TNA team mentioned that the outcome of the exercise pending its full report will determine how effective the Board will put in place these training standards, indicating that the report is a review of the project outcome and not a brief for the development of Training Centres of Excellence as the essence of the exercise is to categorize the skills gaps with the aim of having an intermediate report prior to the full report to the Board.

He, however, charged the team to escalate non-compliance by respondents, particularly the IOCs to the Board. Speaking earlier, the Project Team Lead for the TNA on behalf of PETROFAC/OGTAN, Mr. Adekunle Taiwo narrated that the presentation was essentially to give an Interim Report from the commencement of the project to its current status based on human capital development fundamental in bringing long term sustainable benefits to Nigeria through a classic ‘hub and spoke’ design model for the Integrated ‘Centres of Excellence’ as vehicle for stakeholder alignment. He noted that the assessment of the study is to check the capabilities of service providers, identify those who have the standards and also identify those who do not, to be able to recommend how to close the gaps.

Mr. Taiwo proposed that the project aims to enhance the training and development of Nigerian graduates and technicians to internationally accredited world class standards, identify industry needs and provide local solutions to close capability and capacity gaps, develop employable skills, knowledge and safety competencies to enhance routes to employment and raise the bar to enhance the facilities available for delivering local training provision. These he further added, would stimulate and leverage business opportunities and create the mechanism that delivers a pool of suitably qualified talent to support strategic staffing requirements of IOCs and other employers.

The Project Team Lead highlighted that the interim findings limits what the project start-off was about as emphasis on the mid-term report is that all available back-up data will be provided the Board while the Final Report will have as its objectives as anticipated at the completion of the study to ascertain the type and volume of human capacity needs within the industry, identify suitable locations where ‘Centres of Excellence’ with the potential to become components of a National Oil and Gas Sector Skills and Training Infrastructure can be established and identify regional institutions that require upgrading to service the skills requirements of the industry.

Other objectives to be met, according to Mr. Taiwo, are conceptual business plan that clearly defines the critical path to realization of the overall vision to establish an integrated ‘hub and spoke’ infrastructure and put in place an initial program of blended learning designed for delivery by an identified Centre of Excellence to a pilot group of trainees which indicates choice of subject matter/technical discipline and Centre of Excellence location to be demand driven as informed by TNA findings. He, therefore, thanked the Board for the opportunity given the team in championing the training needs of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

Kaztec Engineering Limited set for Fabrication/Industrial Complex and Skills Training Centre

The efforts of the Nigerian Content Board, with the advent of the NOGICD Act, in developing capacity in-country to support the construction, operation and maintenance of oil and gas industry assets in the production life cycle of service operators’ facilities has brought about a corresponding commitment on their part to justify investment in local facilities and infrastructure that would perform industry work, create opportunities for on-the-job training and build opportunities for knowledge and innovation through research and development.

In realization of this developmental objective to comprehensively surmount the challenges of an age-old mindset driven by sustained multinational control focused primarily on oil and gas revenue generation through exporting Nigerian jobs to foreign countries and procurement of ready-made goods and services from foreign sources rather than develop in-country value creation, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB undertook a facility visit of Kaztec Engineering Limited.

The Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa who led a team of NCDMB and Addax delegates to the facilities expressed delight at the extent of work done at Kaztec Engineering fabrication yard at Apapa and the proposed site of the fabrication/industrial complex and skills training centre situated at Snake Island on the outskirts of Lagos. Engr. Nwapa stressed that industrialization was realizable through Nigerian Content and enjoined Kaztec to take into serious consideration the capacity development initiative of the Board to grow technical skills for the oil and gas industry and allied sectors.

Conducting the team round its maiden facility on Apapa leased from Grand Marine for pre-lodging of all its logistics operations, the Alliance Manager, Mr. John Nziermer indicated that Kaztec had its first contract with Addax since 2010 which gave rise to a sub-leasing facility arrangement with Grand Marine that has a long term lease with the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA .

Mr. Nziermer explained that the processes of pre-cutting the steel and fabrication was carried out at the Apapa yard while the assembling of various components was at Snake Island. He noted that fabrication at the facility began on June 1, 2013 with a target to have the majority of the fabrication works finished within a month.

The Alliance Manager opined, ‘it is our desire to be one of the foremost EPCI companies in Nigeria’. On capacity development, he estimated that 50 Nigerians were currently on the Apapa facility while 100 were at Snake Island with a projection of increased indigenous opportunities when the industrial complex is fully operational.

Enumerating the project scopes and steel tonnages that will be executed in the new Kaztec yard on Snake Island, the Commercial Director, Mr. Marc Robillard affirmed that not only will this new world class facility be ready to start the first two projects which include the Booster Compressor-2 and Antan project comprising jack and deck as well as offshore pipeline , in early September 2013 but will be the first 100% indigenous EPIC (Engineering, Procurement, Fabrication and Offshore Installation, full Turnkey) company that will deliver complex offshore and onshore oil and gas projects.

Mr. Robillard stated of note that Kaztec Engineering importantly offers a much reduced cost to developments thereby opening the door to the development of marginal offshore fields currently held back because of excessive cost and cycle times to delivery. A development, he stated, that has helped Addax, the Nigerian oil and gas industry as well as the Nigerian workforce through direct and indirect labour. The Commercial Director, however, solicited Kaztec Engineering Limited’s request for their facility to be granted Pioneer Status.

The company’s other notable flagship projects as proposed, however, are the Gas and Export and Flares Down project earmarked for December 2014 in line the Federal Government’s policy on gas flaring and utilization and the Udele Ofrima project expected to commence in February 2016.

Indigenous OEMs in the ICT sector to position for competitive local patronage

The Nigerian Content initiative has provided great opportunities for allied sectors of the Nigerian economy particularly the local IT companies/OEMs to key-in on the provisions of the NOGICD Act, build capacity in-country development without compromising quality, standard and safety as well as receive a boost in line with the provisions made by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board within its mandate to empower and provide the required policy to encourage local patronage by the oil and gas industry.

This was made known by the Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa who was represented by the Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Tunde Adelana at a one day industry stakeholder’s factory tour of Omatek Computers Factory which showcased the development of local ICT manufacturing in Lagos recently.

According to the Executive Secretary, an essential first step by the Board was the identification of indigenous OEMs and their current capabilities through an intervention in September 2012 to inaugurate the Information and Communication Technology, (ICT) Forum of the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum, (NCCF) as a common platform for all local IT companies and professional bodies.

Engr. Nwapa further disclosed that the ICT Forum of the NCCF was for all the local IT vendors/OEMs and their stakeholders to share ideas and strategies on how to fully benefit from the opportunities in the oil and gas industry and properly position themselves for competition in IT related services, noting that the Board through this forum shall issue and enforce ICT guidelines to support the indigenous OEM’s efforts in locally assembled brands/IT services in relation to local patronage.

The Chief Executive stated, ‘in pursuant to the compliance of the NOGICD Act on Information Systems, Information Technology and Communication Services, the Board identified quality standards as a key area for development which is imperative on indigenous IT companies to engage the services of IOCs in line with the Nigerian Content philosophy of new developments and innovations to move indigenous technology beyond mere discussions and lead it to measurable impacts’.

In her response, the Group Managing Director, Omatek Ventures Limited, Engr. (Mrs.) Florence Seriki expressed appreciation to the Board and other industry stakeholders reiterating the firm’s commitment in bringing Nigeria and the African continent together to bridge the technology divide to make the nation a manufacturer rather than an adept consumer of computer products in order to pride itself as a truly African and world class company.

Engr. Seriki observed that Omatek brand of products deliver on quality and performance because the company is privileged to buy its raw materials from first class manufacturers like other notable brands in the ICT industry and as a proudly African company, it has contributed to the development of the economy and the education of her people.

Conducting the Board and industry stakeholders round the factory, the Managing Director maintained that Omatek Ventures will always strive to put Africa on the forefront of ICT in order to make it a centre stage for computer revolution. She enumerated the company’s unique products such as portable automobile power inverter with USB charger for laptops while in transit, and multi-socket USB phone charger for various mobile devices.

Other products on the factory line include servers, laptops, desktop computers, tablet personal computers, home entertainment systems and power solutions. Engr. Seriki explained that the Omatek production process goes through casings, speaker lines, desktop assembly line, laptop assembly line, burning room, quality control and packaging. In a related development, the Executive Secretary of the Board addressed the maiden forum of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria, (ITAN) which also held in Lagos for members to integrate and gain opportunities as a new phase of its harmonization process. Speaking through the Manager, ICT of the Board, Mrs. Priscilla Okafor, Engr. Ernest Nwapa highlighted opportunities available to ITAN members on the NOGICJQS portal, noting that the Board’s collaboration with the ICT industry brought about the issuance of ICT Guidelines to the oil and gas industry in line with provisions of the Act. He, therefore, charged players in the ICT industry to leverage on the objectives of the Nigerian Content Development Fund, (NCDF).

Engr. Nwapa observed that from the Board’s perspective, knowing the issues and challenges faced by indigenous companies will help develop appropriate intervention strategies and collaboration opportunities, the advantage being the ability to promote common industry IT standards and leverage global alliances which many of the IOCs already have.

The Executive Secretary acknowledged that the Board is developing an Industrial Park Scheme to encourage SMEs grow their capability in the manufacturing sector of which one of the parks will comprise of an ICT component assembly and called on every sector of the economy not just the oil and gas industry to effectively patronize Omatek Computers to sustain the value it is achieving. Speaking earlier, the Group Managing Director of Omatek Ventures Limited and President of ITAN, Engr. (Mrs.) Florence Seriki enumerated ITAN’s many achievements to include taking its members to countries like Singapore and China to hold interactive sessions with a bid to partner with computer component manufacturers through trade and business missions. She stated that the maiden forum was to integrate its members for empowerment and funding opportunities which showed new ways of funding ICT businesses.

The ITAN President charged members to shun petty issues with a view to move forward and encouraged all Chief Executives to attend quarterly meetings in order to intermingle with resource persons from other sectors. The forum, however, had in attendance captains of industry from the oil and gas, finance, manufacturing and ICT.

Executive Secretary at 1st Niger Delta Young Professionals Economic

Youths in the Niger Delta region have been charged to pick up the gauntlet and take advantage of opportunities on the noble objectives of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board

to develop technical capacity in the oil and gas industry through collaboration with oil and gas companies and also embark on specific projects that generate employment and other benefits to the oil bearing communities.

In a Keynote Address delivered at the opening of the First Niger Delta Young Professionals Economic Summit held at Le Meridien Hotels and Golf Resort, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on the theme “Building Sustainable Entrepreneurship in the Niger Delta Region”, the Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa who was represented by the General Manager, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Daniel Afiakure expressed the Board’s readiness to align with any initiative to develop professionals as part of its mandate to maximize utilization of Nigerian human resources in all activities in the oil and gas industry.

The Executive Secretary reiterated that the clarion call on the Nigerian youth stems from the NCDMB Sensitization and Enlightenment Workshop held only recently for the Akwa Ibom zone where he had the opportunity to engage youths of the area on the enormous opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and how the Board is striving to optimize their participation.

Engr. Nwapa further observed that the summit was a continuation of the Board’s constructive engagement with critical stakeholder groups on how Nigerian talents and resources can be collectively harnessed for maximum local value creation and sustained legacies for generations yet unborn. He advised the youths to prepare themselves to get trained and certified through the Board’s database and also avail themselves of the proposed Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrial Parks Scheme in the nine oil producing states of the Niger Delta to be fully integrated as community entrepreneurs in the oil and gas value chain.

Declaring the summit open, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio called on young Nigerians to watch out and deviate from character flaws that could deter them from sustaining any meaningful success recorded in life. Gov. Akpabio who gave the advice equally linked flaws in character to the failure of some past public office holders in the country who after leaving office could not sustain their riches by not being able to maintain their fleet of vehicles but resorting to using tricycles.

The Akwa Ibom Chief Executive averred that it is not a tragedy when a nonentity fails, but it is a tragedy when a potentially achieving person fails after much investment in education due to a flaw in character. The Governor further attributed the success of his administration in the past six years to total dependence on God as he enjoined delegates of the summit to allow God go before them in their endeavours, dreams and aspirations while urging them to be patient and bid God’s time to avoid any mistakes.

Gov. Akpabio lauded the organizers of the summit for bringing to Akwa Ibom cerebral resource persons outside the country and challenged them to open up subsequent events to Nigerian youths from other regions and climes. He was particularly grateful to Niger Delta youths for their support to the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan declaring that by this support the youths in the region have indicated to other Nigerians that the days of restiveness and other social vices are gone.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Niger Delta Young Professionals, Mr. Moses Siasia commended the government and good people of Akwa Ibom State for the successful hosting of the maiden Economic Summit for Young Nigerian Professionals of the Niger Delta region that has made the state trustees of prosperity. He also stated that the government of the state has given hope to the youth through its policies and programmes in terms of infrastructural development and the educational sector in line with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Governor Akpabio lauds Board for stemming Capital Flight and Youth Restiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Executive Secretary tasks participants on Capacity Building & Opportunities in Oil and Gas Industry

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in executing its mandate stipulated in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, (NOGICD) Act signed into law in 2010 by President Goodluck Jonathan, organized a maiden sensitization and enlightenment workshop recently in Calabar to create awareness on business opportunities in the oil and gas industry as well as enlighten the populace on their role in deepening indigenous participation in oil and gas value chain.

Speaking at the workshop, the Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa who was represented by the General Manager, Projects and Operations, Engr. Nathaniel Etim-Ukut highlighted the challenges of the Board and disclosed plans to establish a favorable business environment for small businesses which will be achieved by establishing Industrial Parks in oil producing states.

Engr. Nwapa further hinted on the thrust of the Board which is to carry the Nigerian Content message to the grassroots with the cardinal objective of promoting community participation and integration of community entrepreneurs and assure these communities of the Federal Government’s determination to create capacity and get people employed through the recently introduced Nigerian Content Employment Initiative, (NCEmI) directly linked to industry skill requirements to fully deepen their participation in exploration and production activities.

The Executive Secretary disclosed that the practice in the past was oil and gas operations was done by foreigners without the active participation of indigenous manpower but now local participation is encouraged to develop capacity and capabilities to create wealth in order to build competencies and get Nigerian employed.

Declaring the sensitization workshop open, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Barr. Efiok Cobham said the state has played a major role in the oil and gas sector not only in Nigeria, but the West African sub-region. Barr. Cobham who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor of Cross River State on Special Duties, Hon. Fabian Okpa noted that the promotion of oil and gas in the state is paramount and encouraged the youths to take advantage of the initiative to be self employed.

The Deputy Governor enjoined the youths of Cross River to avail themselves of the opportunities enlightened through the workshop organized by the Board as an avenue for empowerment, self emancipation and community mobilization for training and entrepreneurship in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to enable the state regain its pride of place amongst the oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta.

Speaking on the benefits of the NOGICD Act, the National Legal Adviser of the Association of Community Leaders of the Nine Oil Producing States in Nigeria, Barr. Leo Ekpenyong charged indigenes of the state to eschew complacency and assert themselves of opportunities abound in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

In a vote of thanks, the Zonal Coordinator, Cross River/Akwa Ibom Zone, Mr. Uduak Obot expressed the Board’s appreciation to the government and good people of Cross River State in their collaborative effort and effective turn out at the maiden edition of the workshop. Mr. Obot also commended the stakeholder interest of entities in the corporate Cross River which indicated a genuine willingness to turn around the economic fortunes of the state to ensure young Nigerians effectively grasped the purpose for which Nigerian Content Board was established.

Highpoint of the sensitization workshop was a Raffle Draw with entries from the eighteen local government areas of the state which had Mr. Ayan Esoso Ebaye of Ikom local government area emerge winner. Mr. Ebaye, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the Cross River University of Technology, (CRUTECH) will be a recipient of the Board’s capacity building initiative.