Ernest Nwapa, Executive Secretary, NCMDB
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Management Development Board (NCMDB) otherwise known as the Nigerian content board, Mr. Ernest Nwapa, has picked holes on nation’s persistent claim that it is a big oil-producing country.
Nwapa explained in his presentation entitled: “Supporting gas development through the Nigerian content Act,” at the 2012 edition of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) annual conference in Abuja that such assertion on the country was without a credible basis considering the non-existence of robust support services in the country’s petroleum industry.
He stated that the inability of the country to conveniently own and operate various vital assets in-country, which traditionally support operations in the sector, had continuously placed huge question marks on her insistence that she is a huge oil producer. She added that the country was yet to comfortably fulfill certain parameters as regards such position.
“Are we replacing capacities in the sector, if you ask me, I will say we are not doing that with the kind of tempo that we should but unfortunately we don’t have a choice but to do the right things going forward because we have done things wrongly in the past years.
“We don’t have a robust supply chain in the oil sector and so cannot claim to be a great oil producing country when we do not own some the assets that should support the industry in-country. Take a look at the Petronas, Petrbras and Saudi Aramcos of this world and you will understand where I am coming from,” he said.
While commenting on criticism of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly by operators in the country’s oil and gas sector, Nwapa said: “I will just have to urge private sector operators in the oil industry to key into the Federal Government’s gas revolution agenda.
“Look, you have to understand that there is no version of the PIB that will be satisfactory to everybody, there will always be complaints and reservations on contents of the bill but you must also understand that we had this kind of issues when the Nigerian Content Act was to be passed but today, I’m sure we have a different story to tell.
“We saw some international oil companies withdrawing from some operations in the sector and then the emergence of indigenous firms to replace them; we are happy that new local players are coming on board to comfortably take advantage of these openings.”
Speaking on potential opportunities to improve the implementation of the local content Act in the gas revolution agenda of the government, Nwapa added that: “Over 5000 kilometres of gas pipeline network will be laid in the country within this framework; it will be instructive for pipe mills that are beginning to produce in-country to take advantage of this opportunity, by the way, we are expecting to commission about three pipe mills in the country very soon.”