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.

Stella Maris Honours Wabote

Stella Maris College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently honoured the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote, with an award of excellence as one of the most outstanding students of the 1984 class.

Describing the basis of the award, the President of the Old Boys Association, Barrister Sir Emeka Anthony Ichoku noted that Wabote deserved to be included in the honours roll because of his distinguished career in the Oil and Gas Industry.

According to the school record, the Executive Secretary was the Senior Prefect of the 1984 class of the college, indicative that his leadership potentials were spotted very early in his life.

The award was presented during the school’s seventieth anniversary celebration in Port Harcourt. Receiving the award, Engr. Wabote thanked the old boys’ association and congratulated the principal, staff, students and old boys of his alma mater on the successful celebration.

The anniversary attracted guests from all walks of life which included the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Hon. Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, the Catholic Bishop of Port Harcourt Diocese, Most Rev. Camillus Etukudo represented by the principal of the school, Rev. Fr. Anthony Baakell and a cross-section of old students of other post-primary schools in Port Harcourt.

The highpoint of the occasion was the anniversary lecture on Nigerian Federalism and Restructuring delivered by Prof. Solomon Ebubrah.

NCDMB, Edo Govt to partner on Enterprise Park

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) would partner the Government of Edo State in the development of the Benin Enterprise Park (BEP).

The Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote made the commitment on Thursday when Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki led a delegation to the Board’s Abuja liaison office.

The Edo Enterprise Park (BEP) is being sponsored by the Edo State Government and Amaya Capital – a principal Energy investment firm, as a private-sector led industrial park. BEP aims to provide efficient and competitive infrastructure to international and local companies. The project will be developed in phases over a 900 hectare location along the Benin-Sapele highway and would have a designated area for oil and gas service companies.

The project is expected to benefit from a dedicated gas pipeline with direct interconnection to natural gas trunk line and a direct gas sales agreement with reliable gas suppliers.

According to Obaseki the project would take advantage of “significant gas reserves within the state, being on the route of the core Escravos to Lagos gas trunk line with capacity of approximately two billion cubic feet of gas per day.”

In his response, the Executive Secretary commended the concept of the Edo Enterprise Park (BEP) and affirmed that the Board would partner the Edo State Government in the development. He confirmed that NCDMB made budgetary provision for the Edo Oil and Gas and Park in the 2018 budget, particularly for land acquisition.

He said the Board would also be willing to partner the Edo Government to catalyze other sectors of the economy provided there would be return on such investments. “There is a lot we can do in the gas corridor in Edo. We have to diversify from crude oil in order to change the thinking in the Niger Delta.”


NCDMB, NLNG hold knowledge sharing workshop

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) have held a knowledge sharing cum capacity building workshop in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The workshop is an initiative of the Projects Certification and Authorization Division (PCAD) of the NCDMB and was conceived to foster knowledge in different areas in the Oil and Gas industry, enhance performance and deepen the relationship between PCAD and different operators/project promoters, so that both parties can understand the technicalities of their partners and Nigerian Content opportunities.

According to Engr. Paul Zuhumben, General Manager PCAD, this year’s program enabled staff of the division to understand Nigeria LNG’s business value chains, processes and vendor management systems. It also provided an opportunity for NCDMB to make relevant NLNG personnel to understand the different Nigerian Content opportunities derivable from their projects.

The intent is to improve value addition in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, which in turns improves the other sectors of the economy as envisaged in the Board’s 10 years strategic roadmap, he added.

This two days program was attended by all PCAD personnel as well as other NCDMB personnel from the Human Resources Division, Nigerian Content Development Fund unit and Logistics.

The invitation extended to staff of other divisions was to enable them understand the activities of PCAD and some of their requirements to achieve optimum delivery.

The knowledge sharing and capacity building workshop was started last year in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and the participants included Chevron and SNEPCo.

NCDMB, Megastar donate town hall to Swali Community

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote on Thursday commissioned a community town hall donated by Megastar Technical and Construction Company Limited to the Swali Community, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Megastar is the main contractor handling the NCDMB’s 17-storey head office building project, located at Oxbow Lake Road, Swali and it built the town hall in fulfilment of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) promise to the community.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary commended Megastar for its commitment to the Swali community since it started the building project. He said that the company had been “training community youths in various skill sets, employing Swali community indigenes and engaging the services of community contractors.”

He also applauded the elders, youths and residents of the community for their peaceful disposition to the headquarters building project and the support they give to Megastar.

He assured that more and bigger projects would come if the residents continue to provide a peaceful atmosphere even after the headquarters building is completed and put into use.

Wabote advised the community to put the town hall into sustainable use and find ways to make it generate revenues that would be used for its regular maintenance.

In his comments, the Managing Director, Megastar Technical and Construction Company Limited, Architect Harcourt Adukeh, confirmed that the company engaged community contractors in the procurement activities for the construction of the head office building. He added that the company also partnered the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to train 75 youths from the community in various building construction trades and the best amongst them were employed to work on the project.

According to him the company also exceeded the stipulation in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the community for 25 percent of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workforce. “We have achieved 97 percent Nigerians, 60 percent Bayelsans and 43 percent persons from Swali town.”

The Commissioner Information and Orientation, Bayelsa State, Honourable Iworiso Markson described Swali youths “as representative of young persons we want to see in our state. We are happy they are part of the project and have never been disruptive. The trainings and skills they have acquired will stay with them for their lifetime.”

Minister, GMD NNPC laud Nigerian Content Achievements

…$21m NCI Fund disbursed to vendors-Wabote

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru led other industry leaders to commend the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for the numerous achievements recorded in the implementation of Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry.

They spoke Tuesday at the 8th Practical Nigerian Content Workshop, organised by the NCDMB and CWC, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and pledged support to deepen the implementation of policies and initiatives that would increase in country value addition in the oil and gas sector.

According to Kachikwu the impact of Nigerian Content in the oil industry has stimulated other sectors like Information & Communication, Automobile, Construction and Power to adopt some of the templates in their policy formulations.

“We are also proud that some African countries like Kenya, Congo Brazzaville and Uganda as well as Gabon and Angola have come to Nigeria in the past for mentorship on Local Content initiatives,” he added.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi, promised the commitment of the Federal Government to promoting robust private sector participation in the oil and gas sector and ensuring ease of doing business in the economy in general.

Also speaking, Baru said NNPC was pleased to see the achievements of Local Content in various sectors of the Nigerian economy. He noted that in “in 2010, the available in-country capacity for line pipes was 100,000 metric tonnes, just 10 percent of the annual industry demand of one million MT/annum. However, today, through the robust collaboration of NCDMB with NNPC and other stakeholders, the capacity of line pipes has been ramped up to 420,000MT/annum, representing 40 percent of industry demand.”

The GMD reaffirmed “NNPC’s commitment to compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Content Act, to increase in-country value addition and support job creation. We will also continue to encourage our partners to do the same.

“NNPC is fully committed to NCDMB’s agenda for the next ten years, to increase Nigerian Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry to 70 percent by 2017.”

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote presented a scorecard of the Board’s performance in 2018, dwelling particularly on the Nigerian Content 10-year strategic roadmap.

On the USD200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) launched to provide funding support to local service companies, Wabote stated that USD21 million has been given out as loan to beneficiaries as at the end of October. “In 2019, we intend to develop and launch our investment policy to further provide flexibility to our funding and investment interventions” he said.

He also hinted that in 2019 the Board “plans to support the establishment of at least one more modular refinery and participate in the LPG value chain if the condition precedent are in place”

NCDMB had in 2018 taken 30 percent equity in the 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State and commenced the construction of oil and gas parks at Bayelsa and Cross River States.

On the provision of constant power to the parks, Wabote said a thermal power plant was being constructed by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), which would also serve the oil and gas park in Bayelsa state while discussions are ongoing to source electricity from the NIPP station in Odukpani, Cross River State to supply the park situated close-by.

Other plans for 2019 include the finalization of the review of Offshore Rig Acquisition Strategy and posting of 20 trained marine personnel being trained by the Board, for their 1 year international sea time in fulfilment of the requirement for the Certificate of Competency (CoC).

The Executive Secretary also reported that the Board has commenced the forensic audit of remittances to the Nigerian Content Development Fund and fulfilled its promise to put in place 3rd party monitors to enhance compliance monitoring in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors of the industry.

He added that “By 2019, we intend to deepen and widen the roll-out of third party monitoring service providers for effective monitoring of the 51 operating companies and close to 8,000 oil and gas service providers registered on our NOGIC-JQS. In addition, we will further expand our compliance and enforcement framework to cover marginal field operators, midstream and downstream sectors.”

He said the Board have established collaborative efforts with the Nigeria Customs Service, EFCC, NNPC, NAPIMS, Nigeria Immigration Service, FAAN, OGFZA, National Judicial Council and NIMASA and would sharpen those inter-agency collaborations going forward.

In his remarks, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon Seriake Dickson, commended the NCDMB for being a good corporate citizen in the state and expressed hope that the completion of the Board’s 17-storey headquarters would lead to more oil and gas deals being sealed in the state, so the citizenry would derive maximum benefits.

Wabote Bags Fellowship Award for Engineering Excellence

Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board was on Thursday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State inducted as a fellow of the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), University of Port Harcourt  for his exceptional accomplishments in engineering, strategic management and local content leadership in the Oil and Gas Industry. The prestigious award was part of the flagship program of the Institute’s 15th Induction Ceremony/Exhibition which took place at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, University of Port Harcourt.  Wabote is one of the two persons admitted to fellowship of the Institute this year. The second person is Hervochon Joel, a French national and Executive Director, Deep Water District, TUPNI, Lagos. Both professionals were inducted for their distinguished career in the oil and gas sector, spanning nearly thirty years.

IPS was established fifteen years ago in collaboration with Institut Francais du Petrole et Energies Nouvelle (IFP/New Energy), the Ecole du Petrole et des Monteurs (IFP School), Paris, France. It was established primarily as a Centre of Excellence in Geosciences, Drilling and Production technology, petroleum economics, policy and strategic studies. The goal of the Institute is to provide topnotch academic and hands-on education for young professionals to meet the needs of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry through a commitment to excellence in training, applied research, continuing education and capacity building. The main sponsor of the Institute is the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC)/Total E & P Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) Joint Venture.

In the citation read by the Institute, Mr. Wabote was described as an “experienced and excellent professional … … who has recorded huge successes in the various assignments so far carried out, making him an effective and resourceful manager who is able to groom and manage divers and high performing teams”. According to the Institute, Wabote’s spectacular performance across a wide spectrum of functional responsibilities in the Oil and Gas Industry, traversing engineering, procurement, process improvement, compliance and corporate governance, business and operational efficiency, local supply chain development and global local content leadership have distinguished him as an engineer and manager par excellence.

In his presentation titled, ‘’ Sustaining Productivity in the Plateau Phase of Growth’’, Engr. Wabote who was also the 15th Induction Guest Lecturer commended the Institute and University of Port Harcourt for the honor. He postulated that it is imperative for the Institute and the industry as whole to pursue sustainable productivity in plateau phase of growth of oil and gas production and value addition in Nigerian and not give room to decline due to complacency.

He commended “Total/NNPC JV for its efforts, dedication, and continual support to developing human capacity by adopting the University of Port – Harcourt to domicile IPS and creating a conducive learning environment for Nigerians to attain and share knowledge”. He enjoined the sponsors of the Institute, “ensure you don’t get into the plateau of complacency as it can only result in decline”.