Over 100 youths from oil-bearing communities in Akwa Ibom State recently participated in the Sensitization and Enlightenment Workshop on Community Content Guideline, (CCG) organized recently by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) in Eket Local Government Area.
Delivering a keynote address at the event, the General Manager, Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah explained that the workshop was organized to enlighten indigenes of the oil-producing communities on the Board’s mandate and how they can be involved in the activities of the oil and gas industry in their domain with respect to employment, contracts, training, and other forms of empowerment.
Dr. Ginah stated that Akwa Ibom is one of the foremost oil-producing states, hence it attracted the Board’s interest to educate the youths on its projects and initiatives in the state. He hinted that the Board is developing one of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Schemes (NOGaPS) in the state where investors will domicile oil and gas components manufacturing activities and take advantage of the amenities that would be provided by the Board, such as power supply, security, shop floors and other facilities
The General Manager disclosed that the Board had launched a $50million Fund that can be accessed by companies that want to set up operations within the oil and gas park. He indicated that the park is nearing construction and the fund will serve as incentive for those investors. Dr. Ginah listed other accomplishments of the Board in Akwa Ibom to include the refurbishment of the Woodwork and Carpentry workshops at the Government Technical College, (GTC) Abak, Akwa Ibom State, the provision of ICT equipment at the Government Technical College, Abak and establishment of more than ten ICT centers for post-primary schools in the state.
During the workshop, participants were introduced to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System, (NOGICJQS) and shown how they can access the portal to benefit from the Board’s direct intervention training as well as project-based trainings from the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
Dr. Ginah advised youths in the area to shun restiveness and other vices inimical to the growth of their communities and to dialogue with oil and gas industry players in their domain and communicate any grievance to the Board for prompt intervention.
In a similar vein, the Board organized a similar Sensitization and Enlightenment Workshop in Calabar, Cross River State workshop, where the General Manager, Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination, NCDMB, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah commended the youths of Cross River State for their impressive participation and interactions at the programme.
He stated that the Board’s activities had grown the composite value of Nigerian Content from less than 5% in 2010 to 54% by 2022. He further disclosed that the development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGaPS) at Odukpani, in Cross River is one of the Board’s flagship projects and would serve as a hub for manufacturers with the intention to grow indigenous capacity to 70% by 2027.
Other projects the Board has supported in Cross River are the General Electric Multimodal Facility, Brentex Petroleum Services Limited that will manufacture pipes for the oil and gas industry, establishment of ICT centers in secondary schools and the construction of a Vocational Training Center in the northern part of the state.
The General Manager informed that the host community members are the first beneficiaries of opportunities for employment and contracts before it is extended to the rest of the state and other critical stakeholders, as a means of fostering a peaceful and enabling environment for oil and gas operations.
In terms of employment, he stated that 50% of semi-skilled jobs in oil and gas projects are reserved for host community members, while other opportunities go to every other Nigerian.