The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, has said that the review of tenders and other approvals by the agency would now be executed on strict timelines as part of new measures to shorten the protracted contracting cycle in the oil and gas industry and revitalise the implementation of Nigerian Content.
Speaking in Abuja at the recent Nigerian Gas Association’s 2016 International Gas Conference and Exhibition, Wabote hinted that the Board would introduce speed and simplicity into its approval processes to ensure that Nigerian Content reviews and approvals do not delay the execution of projects and not escalate the cost of crude oil production.
“We will strike a balance; we will not stop reviewing tenders but we will also ensure that projects are executed speedily, Nigerians benefit and there are in-country value additions,” he added.
While commending past Executive Secretaries of the Board for the achievements they recorded while on the saddle, Wabote stated that NCDMB would begin to review its performance since the enactment of the Nigerian Content Act in 2010 and to set agenda for local content value addition in the next five years.
He noted that the Board would adopt a pragmatic approach adding that “our strategy will take into account the current realities in the industry, the job creation drive of the Federal Government and national aspirations for the oil and gas industry provided in the 7 Big wins document launched by Mr. President.”
He charged industry stakeholders, local service providers, particularly members of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) to embrace proposals for longer contract tenure of at least five years to support the reduction of the contracting cycle, capacity building and asset acquisition.
He challenged PETAN to articulate a sustainable Community Content Strategy that would facilitate the participation of genuine community contractors in oil and gas projects so as to promote peace and tranquility in oil producing communities. According to him, Nigerian Content activities must go beyond the project phase and extend through the life cycle of projects. On the part of the Board, he also pledged develop a policy on Community Content to integrate community contractors in ancillary activities supporting the oil and gas industry.
Other speakers at the event including the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Company (NLNG) Mr. Chima Ibeneche also reinforced the message that a properly articulated and executed Local Content policy would lead to cost reduction for operating companies.
On his part, Chairman of PETAN, Mr. Bank-Anthony Okoroafor charged the Board to speed up the lending from the Nigerian Content Fund (NCDF) to deserving service companies in support in-country value addition. He also called for the abolition of call-off contracts.