By Chineme Okafor
The Federal Government has again stated its intention to push through the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGIC) Act 2010, otherwise known as local content law, to ensure that it serves its purpose.
Following this, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have initiated plans to ensure strict compliance with provisions of the NOGIC Act when the next bid rounds for crude oil blocks begins.
Both agencies have insisted that adherence to tenets of the Nigerian content law would be a key condition for operators and service companies in the petroleum sector to participate in bid rounds as well as grants of licenses and permits approvals.
According to a statement from the media officer of NCDMB, Mr. Obinna Ezeobi in Abuja, DPR and NCDMB have equally agreed to institute a joint committee that will design an interface model with regard to common mandates in the implementation of other provisions of the local content law in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The statement explained that amongst other things, the committee is expected to develop procedure that will give bite to Sections 3 and 7 of the NOGIC Act 2010; the sections provides that compliance with Nigerian content provisions, promotion of Nigerian content development and submission of Nigerian content plan will constitute conditions for the award of licenses, permits and any other project in the oil and gas industry.
DPR is responsible for bid rounds with regard to oil block acquisitions; it also grants licenses and permits, which enable both producing and service companies to operate in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Ezeobi equally stated in the statement that another focus area of the new collaboration between DPR and NCDMB would be the Expatriate Quota Management which is expected to be formally endorsed by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Accordingly, DPR and NCDMB will interface seamlessly to ensure industry compliance with Section 33 of the NOGIC Acc to minimise incidents of occupational abuse by companies at the same time pushing for optimal knowledge transfer to Nigerians from companies.
The committee will also address the increasing incidence of staff disengagement by operators and design partnership model for critical information sharing between DPR and NCDMB to facilitate effective regulation of the industry. They are expected to be inaugurated before the end of June 2012.