Stories by Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government has commenced the process to ensure a hitch-free allocation of gas flare sites to bidders who emerged successful in the bid stages of its market-based gas flare-out plan under the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP).
The Director of Special Duties in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Alternate Chairman of NGFCP, Mr. Andrew Ogu Agi, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, disclosed that the government would engage the successful bidders in a workshop to ensure a win-win closure to the deals.
He explained in a statement that the bidders have been invited for the workshop expected to hold on August 19, in Abuja, and from where part of steps to the next stage of the NGFCP would commence.
Speaking to THISDAY on the planned workshop, the Program Manager of NGFCP, Mr. Justice Derefaka, stated that it would be centred on, ‘regulatory framework, incentives, best practices and understanding the Request for Proposal phase’ to boost investors’ and qualified applicants’ appetite in the NGFCP.
Derefaka, noted that the letter was sent to successful companies who applied for qualification package of the NGFCP, via submission of their Statement of Qualification (SOQ) and who are now set for the next stage of the scheme ahead of allocation of gas flare sites for resumption of gas recovery and end to associated gas flaring.
“You’ll recall that over 850 interested parties registered their interest in the NGFCP while 238 applicants submitted SOQs in response to the Request for Qualification (RfQ) published by the ministry of petroleum resources.
“And then total of 238 SOQ documents were evaluated in accordance with the provisions of applicable regulations, guidelines, standard industry best practices for bid evaluation, and were adjudged either a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ status.
“Following a rigorous exercise conducted in line with established protocol and using the Electronic Evaluation Tool (EET), 205 applicants emerged successful while the remaining 33 applicants did not meet the minimum requirements and thus attained fail status,” said Derefaka.
He further stated: “These stages are being followed by the federal government to ensure due process and efficiency in all necessary aspect of the gas commercialisation drive of the ministry of petroleum resources.
“And, showcase FG incentives through the Nigerian Investment promotion commission (NIPC) that the QA could key into as well as local content requirements, stakeholder management in the Niger Delta, compliance with other oil and gas permits and consents and community relations management learnings from IOCs on their corporate governance strategy, contexts, issues, challenges, success stories and lessons learnt.”
Derefaka, explained that the workshop would have a good number of industry resource persons to help the qualified companies get through the expectations of the programme.
He said for instance: “For FOSTER (Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform in Nigeria), they are helping the NGFCP to adopt Conflict Sensitive Business Practices (CSBP) which is necessary to help gas flare companies improve bankability of their projects.
“So, we want to showcase one of the CSBP tools, one of which is Macro-Level Conflict Risk and Impact Assessment (M-CRIA). For us at the NGFCP we believe this could be used in different stages: pre-feasibility, tendering or implementation of the NGFCP programme.”
According to him, the CSBP supports extractive industries to anticipate conflicts, and was first used in 2005 when it was approved by the then United Nation’s Secretary General, the Late Kofi Anan, and has been working ever since in Angola, Burma, Colombia and Indonesia.
“CSBP consists of guidance on doing business in societies at risk of conflict for field managers working across a range of business activities, as well as headquarters staff in political risk, security, external relations and social performance departments.
“And for us at the NGFCP, this is like the case of the Niger Delta where the gas flare projects by the QAs and investors will be,” he added.
The CSBP guidance, he added provides information on understanding conflict risk through a series of practical documents.
For the M-CRIA, Derefaka, explained it had been adapted as analytical tool for companies, governments, and communities to support their understanding of host community conflict dynamics.
“Studies carried out in the Niger Delta have identified three major locations where violence had been instigated by conflict entrepreneurs, all because of their selfish and pecuniary interests, thereby frustrating laudable projects of national and international magnitudes in those host communities and FG through the NGFCP does not want a repeat of such hence we are keen on early stakeholders’ engagement with host communities to co-create, co-own and achieve a win-win for All.
“And to a great extent we are making inroads in this regard as some of the QAs are host communities,” he explained.