NCDMB, AOS Orwell flag-off training for 50 engineers

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in collaboration with AOS Orwell and the Lagos State Electricity Board, have flagged-off the Smart Electrical Engineering Training programme for 50 engineers out of the 100 selected engineers to be trained at the Lagos Energy Academy in Lagos State.

The specialised training is targeted at young engineers and will help bridge the gap between theories and hands-on skills as well as prepare the engineers for successful careers. It is also planned to provide participants with solid foundations in electrical and electronics theory and practices, covering a broad range of electrical functions such as installations, testing, maintaining, repairing, analysing and troubleshooting specific kinds of electrical circuits, equipment and systems.

The training will last for six months and it combines four months of classroom training and two months on-the-job (OJT) training. The programme is certified by Siemens. The trainees were selected from the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGIC JQS).

Speaking at the flag off ceremony, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote explained the structure and operation of the Board, stating that Human Capacity Development is key to the realization of the Board’s mandate and 10-year strategic roadmap.

According to him, the Board has recorded six million training man-hours through intervention programmes. He added that NCDMB’s new 60-20-20 capacity building policy will ensure that 60 percent of Board’s and industry training budget is devoted to providing young Nigerians with specialized skills they need to secure employment. He stated that 20 percent of the budget will be spent to improve the productivity of already employed personnel while the balance of 20 percent will be spent on trainings beneficiaries on soft skills.

Addressing the trainees, Wabote admonished them to learn on the job and off the job, adding that the reward will be immense. He assured that NCDMB will continue to conceive and carry out critical industry trainings, adding that it has entered a collaboration arrangement with PTI to make sure more graduates are trained.

Wabote commended the management of AOS Orwell for its commitment to foster Nigerian Content and charged young graduates to register on the NOGICJQS platform to benefit from the Board’s capacity building initiatives.

The Managing Director AOS Orwell Ltd, Mr. Femi Omotayo made a presentation on the Training Programme and course modules and he noted 50 students were sponsored by the Lagos State Government to undertake the electrical engineering training in 2015 and they were successful. He added that the certificates awarded at the centre are accepted worldwide.

The General Manager, Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB), Engr. (Mrs.) Ibilola Kasunmu delivered the welcome address and advised the trainees to make good use of the opportunity and become good ambassadors of the centre.

NCDMB and EFCC to Collaborate More

The management of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) plan to forge more effective collaboration for quick investigation of serious infractions by oil and gas companies in Nigeria.    Engr. Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, who led the management of Board, dropped this hint during a courtesy visit to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu at the Commission’s new Head Office Building in Jabi, Abuja on Tuesday.  According to him, “we plan to refer serious fraudulent discoveries from the audit to the Commission for further action”, he intimated.

On the essence of the visit, Wabote stated “the Board will like to initiate the development of a MoU between the two agencies to enable quick deployment once the services of the Commission are required”. He pointed out that “we regularly receive alerts via the whistleblowing portal on our website. We do our bit to investigate such alerts and believe some of the major findings may be candidates for referral to EFCC”.

Engr. Wabote noted that the EFCC is “one of the key agencies driving one of the core programs of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari”, adding that the Commission “ has succeeded in building a reputation for itself locally and internationally as a fearless fighter in the war against corruption”.  Thus, his Board is fully aligned with Mr. President’s fight against corruption. Which is why the Board attends to requests for information or clarifications about contract and oil and gas transactions under EFCC investigation expeditiously.

He stated the Board has put in place an Anti-Corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit, headed by a senior member of the management team, to promote anti-corruption and ethical behavior and to investigate any internal infractions.

To foster a deeper relationship, Wabote indicated that the Board needs more support on the investigative side of our activities and the expertise of EFCC.

In his reply, the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Magu expressed delight at the visit and commended Engr. Wabote for the bold move to enlist the support of EFCC. He stated that his Commission has partnered successfully with other government agencies to contain fraud and financial malpractices. He emphasized that the fight against corruption should be viewed as everybody’s fight in Nigeria because it is the only way to save the economy from being wrecked by corrupt individuals.

He thanked NCDMB for the measures and structures put in place to promote transparency and ethical behavior. He urged every stakeholder in Nigerian to join the fight and to preach against corruption in his or her spheres of influence. He promised that his Commission is ready and willing to support the NCDMB to recover any money due it as an agency of the federal government. He expressed the desire for local content practice to be extended to other important sectors of Nigerian economy.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB was accompanied to the Commission Engr. (Dr.) Ginah O. Ginah, General Manager, Corporate Communications/Zonal Coordination, who is also the Head Anti-Corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit in the Board; others in the visiting team included Barr. Naboth Onyesoh, Manager, Corporate Communications, and Mrs Gloria Onajero (Head, Abuja Liaison Office), Farid Blell and Victor Amabebe.

On the part of the EFCC, the Acting Chairman, Mr. Magu, Mr. Osita Nwajah, Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Wilson Uwajarem, Head Media & Publicity and Mr. Ola Olukoyede, Chief of Staff to the Executive Chairman were on ground to receive the NCDMB team.

PENGASSAN, NUPENG Pledge Collaboration with NCDMB

…NCDMB doesn’t award oil and gas contracts- Wabote

The joint national executive of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and their counterpart Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has pledged their readiness to collaborate with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in monitoring and development of local content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.
The groups made this commitment when they paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in Yenagoa yesterday.

The national chairman, PENGASSAN, Comrade Francis Johnson appreciated the Board’s effort towards the growth and development of the oil sector by encouraging indigenous participation. He said, “this engagement with the Board is quite revealing, we have learnt a lot about the laudable interventions of NCDMB. There is no better time to work with the Board, we are committed to work with you.”
Johnson encouraged the Board to continue the good job it’s doing and prevent portfolio companies from grabbing contracts which will help to build and deepen Nigerian content in the sector.

On the Board’s headquarters building project, the chairman PENGASSAN described the project as remarkable. He said, “on behalf of PENGASSAN/NUPENG, I want to commend NCDMB for this project and I hope for it to be completed soonest as we will be here to be a part of the official commissioning”.
In his presentation on the structure and operation of the Board, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Wabote urged the union executives to dispel the notion among their members that the Board awards contract in the oil sector. He reiterated that the NOGICD Act 2010 mandates the Board to review and approve the Nigerian Content Plan and issue compliance certificates to companies adhering to the Law.

“Contrary to the widespread believe that NCDMB award contracts, let me categorically say the Board is mandated to review, assess and approve Nigerian Content plans developed by operators. We issue certificate of authorization for projects that comply with Nigerian Content provisions” Wabote said
Wabote further highlighted the structure and operations of the Board and how both unions can enhance Local Content. He explained that Nigerian Content is not about Nigerianization, rather domestication and domiciliation of value adding activities in-country.

He stated that the Board’s effort since the enactment of the Act has yielded tangible benefits, notably establishment and upgrade of fabrication yards, pipe coating plants, upstream production managed by indigenous companies, production of low/high voltage cables and partial integration of Egina FPSO among others.

The NCDMB boss mentioned that the major challenges of the Board include infrastructures for the movement of materials, inter-agency collaboration, policy consistency and attraction of risk averse investors to set-up manufacturing outfit locally.

Wabote while calling for the Union’s support for the Board also disclosed his agency’s readiness to collaborate with the union continuously for the benefit of all.

In his own remark, the Chairman, NUPENG, Comrade Williams Akporeha stated their collaboration with the Board will be total. He noted that they were happy with the great achievements of the Board. He however suggested that NCDMB should introduce periodic consultative forum with both unions to explore areas of collaboration for effective Nigerian content practice in the industry.

Akporeha said the Board has major role to play to ensure smooth operations in the oil and gas industry and advised that NCDMB examine international practices on remunerations to employees
In his closing remark, General Secretary, NUPENG, Comrade Adamu Song commended Wabote for his leadership style and achievements through rigorous implementation of the Nigerian Content Law . He thanked the Board for hosting the two unions and for the insightful presentation on the Board’s activities in the industry.

SPIP Visits Executive Secretary, Pledges Collaboration

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) for recovery of public assets has pledged to support the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring (NCDMB) in the recovery of unremitted one percent deductions for the Nigerian Content Development Fund from defaulters.

The Chairman of the Panel, Barr. Okoi Obono-Obla made this promise when he paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote at the Board’s liaison office in Abuja on Monday.  “We are aware that your Board is mandated by law to get one percent from every contract in the oil and gas industry for development of Nigerian Content, we are willing to partner with the Board to prosecute companies that default and ensure recovery of the fund to the Board.” , he declared.

Okoi went further to explain that his Panel is empowered to investigate people and organizations whose activities have contributed to the economic adversity of the country. He asserted that non-remittance to the NCDF is economic sabotage.

In his comment, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote expressed appreciation with the offer to support the Board in recovery unremitted deductions for the Fund. He intimated the Panel Chairman that the Board will soon begin forensic audit of companies to ascertain the level of remittance into the Nigerian Content Development Fund. He also informed the Chairman that the Board has commenced the implementation of its 10 year strategic plan which was put in place as a means of deepening Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry. He added that Collaboration and Stakeholder engagement is one of the crucial enablers to the Board’s Ten Year Strategic Plan.

Wabote reassured the Chairman of the Board’s readiness to partner with the Panel in ensuring that those not remitting to the fund are duly sanctioned.  “We will ensure that through this collaboration between the two agencies that we bring some level of discipline among stakeholders that they have obligations to meet and laws  to obey”, he reiterated.

Get More Involved in Oil and Gas Reforms, Wabote tells Lawyers

Nigerian Lawyers have been enjoined to get more involved and active in the ongoing reforms in the Oil and Gas Industry. The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engineer Simbi Wabote made this call on Tuesday at a Panel session in the 58th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja.

Speaking on the topic, “Managing transition and transformation of the Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry”, Wabote posited that lawyers have a big role to play and that includes getting more involved in the development of the laws and regulations and keeping the emerging legal regime simple for easy implementation and compliance.

In providing legal advisory to their clients, he also appealed to members of the NBA to first explore peaceful resolution of oil and gas disputes  and advise “their clients to default to out of court settlements”, noting that “long drawn legal battles are killers of great initiatives and sow the seeds of bitterness in the business environment.”

Earlier in his remarks as the lead speaker, the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (HMSPR), Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu catalogued the challenges that faced the petroleum industry before President Mohammed Buhari took over the reins of power in 2015 and measures taken by the Administration to bring back efficiency, stability, increased oil production and numerous transformative policies.   He also enjoined lawyers to get involved in the reforms going on in the sector.

Other speakers at the session included Special Adviser to the Minister on Petroleum Fiscal Policy, Dr. Tim Okon, who spoke on the emerging petroleum fiscal law; Special Technical Adviser to the Minister on Gas, Mr. Gbite Adeniji, who made a presentation on the new Gas Policy; and a Partner in Bambo and Ighodalo Law Firm, Ms. Stella Duru.
The theme of the 58 Annual NBA Conference is “Transition, Transformation and Sustainable Institutions.”

NCDMB holds workshop in Edo and Delta States

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) recently held the second series of its Youth Sensitization and Enlightenment Workshops in Delta and Edo States, with a view to educating young Nigerians on how they can benefit from Nigerian Content human capacity initiatives and participate in the oil and gas industry.

The workshops were held at Auchi and Ekpoma Local Governments Areas of Edo State and Warri Local Government Area of Delta State.

Delivering the keynote address, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, represented by the General Manager, Corporate Communication & Zonal Coordination, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah explained that the workshop was organised in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, (NOGICD) Act. The enabling law he said, mandated the Board to organise workshops to enlighten critical stakeholders, integrate indigenes of oil producing communities into industry activities and empower youths with skills required in the oil and gas sector.

He revealed that thousands of young Nigerians have been trained and attached to various ongoing projects in the industry to enable them gain requisite industry experience and permanent employment.

The themes of the workshops were “Relevant Skills in Oil and Gas Industry and How to Acquire Them” and “How Host Communities and Youths Can Benefit From the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010.” Presentations focused on various existing opportunities and specific trainings one is required to acquire to boost employability and self-reliance.

Responding to questions from participants during the workshop, the General Manager stressed that the Nigerian Content policy is about domiciliation of industry operations and development of local capacity. He charged participants to register on the Board’s NOGICJQS database so they can benefit from the Nigerian Content Human Capacity Development Initiatives.

In his remarks, the Zonal Coordinator, NCDMB Delta/Edo Zonal Office, Mr. Uduak Obot hinted that subsequent editions of the sensitization workshops would be held at rural oil and gas producing communities. He added that the Board intends to extend the sensitization workshop to other regions of the country.

NCDMB seeks listing of oil coys on Stock Exchange

       …to divest equity in modular refinery

Oil and gas firms like refineries, petrochemical and fertilizer companies as well as those in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) value chain would gain immensely from listing their shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote said on Tuesday in Lagos.

He spoke when he visited the Stock Exchange and performed the closing gong ceremony, adding that indigenous operating companies and their service counterparts would also benefit from the corporate governance principles demanded from businesses that float their shares on the Exchange.

Listing on the stock market would also change the operating model of the oil and gas industry and enable the pooling of funds for growth, empowerment and inclusion of Nigerians in the activities of the sector, he remarked.

The Executive Secretary noted that oil and gas companies currently listed on the NSE were majorly downstream players and harped on the need for upstream and midstream concerns to also go public.

He stated further that “we see opportunity to collaborate with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to increase the depth and breadth of listings using our 10-year strategy as a driver. For us in the Board, we have commenced multiple strategic initiatives to bring the roadmap into fruition.”

He also informed that the Board took 30 percent equity in a 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery with other similar proposals under review, the goal being to refine at least 10 percent of Nigerian oil production using modular refineries.

Confirming that the Board had an exit strategy from these investments, Wabote added, “we see opportunity to divest such equity via the Nigerian Stock Exchange so that Nigerians and other investors can be part owners of such enterprises.”

Such partnerships between the Board and the NSE will boost activities in the stock market, increase the listing of Nigerian companies on the stock exchange and foster businesses with enduring legacies, he said.

The Executive Director, Regulations, NSE, Ms. Tinuade Awe represented the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema at the event and commended NCDMB for the remarkable achievements it had recorded in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act in the oil and gas industry. She noted that the Board had built significant human and infrastructural capacity, hence several Nigerian companies and personnel have begun to play leading roles in the operations of the industry.

The Executive Director confirmed that the NSE wanted many indigenous oil producing and service companies to emulate SEPLAT Petroleum in listing on the Exchange. “We want them to know of the many opportunities they stand to gain, such as being able to raise capital among other things.” She noted that the NSE also provides capacity building programmes on access to the capital market, financial literacy, investment opportunities, corporate governance among others.

NCDMB wins Award as Best Media Friendly Organisation

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has won an award as the “Best Media Friendly Organisation in Bayelsa State.”

The award was presented at the 6th edition of the Bayelsa Media Award held in Yenagoa on Saturday and according to the organisers, NCDMB won because of its enduring support to media organisations and practitioners in the state, which includes various capacity building workshops, donation of seats and infrastructure to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Bayelsa chapter, advertising support among others.

The BMA is an annual event organised by Sqilful Konseptz, with the aim of promoting and rewarding excellence in the Media and Entertainment industries in Bayelsa State, encouraging healthy competition among media organizations and contributing to the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region.

The Supervisor Media & Publicity NCDMB, Mr. Obinna Ezeobi received the award on behalf of the General Manager, Corporate Communications & Zonal Coordination, NCDMB, Dr. G.O Ginah.

In his remarks, Mr. Ezeobi challenged media practitioners in the state to use their reports to attract and promote investments to the state and the Niger Delta region. The media, he added, should practice development journalism and create a positive perception about the region. He also harped on the need for the media to campaign against vandalism of oil infrastructure and engender harmonious relationships between operating companies and host communities.

On why the Board endowed categories in the BMA, the Supervisor Media & Publicity explained that NCDMB wanted to spur healthy competition among Bayelsa based journalists and catalyse improvements in the quality of media practice.

He described the media as key stakeholders to the successful operations in the oil and gas industry and the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD) Act.

More than 20 awards were conferred on winning journalists and organisations. The NCDMB Prize for Oil & Gas Broadcast Reporter of the Year was won by Mr. Ovieteme George of TV Continental. His report titled “Oil exploration and pollution: The Niger Delta situation since 1960” highlighted the impact of the scourge on the nation and oil producing communities, while calling for change.

Mr. Emem Idio of the Vanguard Newspaper also won the NCDMB Prize for Oil & Gas Print Reporter of the Year. His feature story was titled “APOI: Agony of a Bayelsa spill ravaged community” and it narrated the pains of the citizens of the APOI community in Southern Ijaw LGA and how a faction of the community leadership and NAOC have continued to bicker over the remediation of a major oil spillage that occurred in 2017. Both winners received a new laptop each and cash prize.

NCDMB to commercialize top undergraduate engineering projects

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will partner the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the Committee of Deans of Engineering and Technology of Nigerian Universities (CODET) to develop and commercialize the best engineering projects completed by undergraduates in the 2017/2018 academic session.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote made the commitment on Tuesday at the 27th Engineering Assembly organised by COREN in Abuja. He spoke after the announcement of the top three individual and group engineering undergraduate projects in the country by the Committee of Deans.

The top three prizes for Best Individual Engineering Projects went to Egbe Gabriel Tobi and Nsionu John Udoka both from Covenant University Ota, Ogun State and Omoseyi Aaron Tolu of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA). Similarly, students of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) clinched the top three awards for the Best Group Engineering Projects respectively.

The top three Best Graduating Students in Engineering emerged from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Covenant University and Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) while the prizes for Best Academic publication went to students of the University of Nigeria Nsukka and Michal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State.

These competitions involved the 49 COREN accredited universities in Nigeria and the contestants went through departmental and faculty levels, with the top three from each university competing at their various zone before the final selection that was held at the sidelines of the COREN Assembly on Monday.

Announcing the Board’s support to the CODET Awards, which he described as a great initiative, Wabote said, “NCDMB would work with the Committee to reconvene the winners and go through the projects with a view to develop and commercialize them,” adding that “part of our mandate is to enhance research and development. As part of our contribution, we will support them through the development stage of the findings they have put together.”

The Executive Secretary also announced the endowment of annual prizes for the Best Research Publication by any Engineering Undergraduate. He also procured 300 copies of the authoritative book, “Professional Engineering Practice” to be donated to the Universities.

Wabote commended the current COREN leadership, particularly the President, Engr. Kashim Ali for restoring professionalism to the engineering sector and organizing a successful COREN Assembly. He noted that the Board had recorded numerous achievements in the oil and gas industry and would achieve much more if the agency’s mandate were extended to other key sectors like power, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and construction.

NPDC pledges compliance with Nigerian Content guidelines

…says the coy is not keen on waivers

 The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the production subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has promised to comply with the provisions of the Nigerian and Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act and other guidelines of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The Managing Director Mr. Yusuf Matashi made the commitment on Monday in Abuja during a meeting with the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.He said the company would not be seeking waivers from the Board for its projects, rather it would abide by the provisions of the Act, especially as it relates to carrying out competitive bidding and utilizing Nigerian oil and gas service companies and locally manufactured goods and services.

Matashi assured that the company would approach the Board to obtain Nigerian Content Plan (NCP) approval as required by the NOGICD Act for all its future projects in excess of one million dollars. NCP sets out work scopes that would be executed in-country and guides project execution and monitoring. He promised to direct the company’s personnel on the primacy of Nigerian Content guidelines to project execution.

The Managing Director also solicited the Board’s support to develop and institutionalize Nigerian Content systems and processes within the NPDC to ensure compliance. Part of the support his company would need, he noted includes workshop or training for staff of NPDC on Nigerian Content requirements and processes.

In his comments, the Managing Director of NETCO, Mr. Yakubu Mustapha stated that his subsidiary is a major beneficiary of the Nigerian Content Act. He added that NETCO could not have been able to compete with its international counterparts but for the Nigerian Content Act which has enabled it to grow and build requisite capacity.

In his comments, the Executive Secretary underscored the need for close collaboration between the Board and NPDC. He charged NPDC to be a role model for the industry in terms of Nigerian Content compliance, considering especially that the NNPC played leading roles in the development and enforcement of the Nigerian Content policy and establishment of the NCDMB.

Top management of the Board at the meeting were the Director Planning, Research & Statistics, Mr. Daziba Patrick Obah; Director Monitoring & Evaluation, Mr. Akintunde Adelana and General Manager, Projects Certification and Authorization Division (PCAD), Engr. Paul Zuhumben and Engr. Abayomi Bamidele, Special Technical Adviser to the ES & General Manager Strategy & Special Projects.

The MD of NPDC was accompanied by the Executive Director, Asset Management, Mr. Raifu Oyewole Oyedele while the MD of NETCO was accompanied by the Manager Projects Controls, Mr. Isokariari Soibi.