Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has disclosed that at least 1,000 Nigerians have now taken over the jobs previously executed by expatriates in the oil and gas industry.
Speaking during a capacity building workshop for media stakeholders in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, stressed that the move had helped to reduce the huge payments to foreigners and employed highly skilled Nigerians in the sector.
The programme was themed: “Strategic Communication as a Critical Pillar for the Attainment of Nigerian Content 10-year Roadmap,” and was organised by the NCDMB.
Represented by the General Manager, Corporate Communications and Zonal Coordination, Dr. Ginah Ginah, Wabote also dismissed insinuations that the board was out to nationalise businesses owned by foreigners, arguing however, that Nigerians who have built capacity to carry out such tasks must be considered.
He added that with the efforts of the board, a lot of the components now used in the oil and gas in the country were being produced in Nigeria, with the objective to hit 70 per cent participation or domiciliation by Nigerians in the next few years.
He said: “I have explained this before. We are not saying that everybody should go. But in line with the NOGICD Act, we have also been able to send away about 1,000 expatriates. This is allowed by the Act and it’s because these particular people were doing jobs that Nigerians can do.
“You will see an expatriate, in fact at the Brass LNG, they came to our office when they were setting up and part of their submissions to the NCDMB was about personnel; so, we saw security adviser, who was an expatriate.
“So, the executive secretary told the people that Nigeria fought in the First World War, the Second World War; we have had our own wars and we are tackling Boko Haram and you are telling us we don’t have experienced persons to take over security management?”
He maintained that where it is obvious that Nigerians are on top, the board which was created in 2010 would continue to encourage Nigerians who have built capacity over the years to take over.
Wabote said that the NCDMB was proud of its achievements in the last few years, explaining that in recent times , even for some of the biggest projects in the industry, Nigerians have continued to deliver.
“For the EGINA project, all the Nigerian components there – there were no complaints. In fact, everything was delivered on time and with high quality. So, local content promotes domestication and domiciling of operation in-country. We are not saying they should go away. But they must do it in-country and they must operate in the same space as Nigerians,” he said.
According to him, the NCDMB had embarked upon the training of Nigerians totalling over 560, 000 man- hours across Egina contracts, including the construction of several large-scale new fabrication yards in Nigeria, especially Africa’s first FPSO integration quay .
The efforts of the board he said, had also added about 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day into Nigeria’s oil production, representing about 10 per cent of current production.
Wabote listed the 5,000 barrels-per-day capacity Waltersmith modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State, which would be commissioned in 2020, and the Azikel modular refinery 12,000 hydro scheming facility which will be ready for commissioning in 2021 as some of the achievements of the NCDMB.