By Emmanuel Addeh
The federal government has set a target to achieve 70 per cent Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry in the next seven years, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, said Tuesday.
Speaking during the inauguration of new members of the governing council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Abuja, Sylva noted that the federal government is now making deliberate efforts to deepen Nigerian participation in the sector.
The newly sworn in members of the board are Mrs. Peace Owei, representative of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Mr Sarki Auwalu, representing the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR); and Farouk Sa’id from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Others are Mr. Olorundare Thomas, representing the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and Mr. Nicolas Odinuwe, representing the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN).
“In the midst of so much uncertainty around Covid-19 pandemic and instability in the world oil markets, we must look inwards to explore all the opportunities to further diversify and insulate our economy from external shocks.
“The board’s 10-year strategic road map launched in 2018 is a key compass to ensure that we derive more value in-country from our hydrocarbon resources. By 2027, the road map’s target is to achieve 70 per cent Nigerian content level in the oil and gas industry.
“I want this goal to be achieved so that we are able to domesticate petroleum refining, domicile manufacturing of industry requirements, extract value from gas and position Nigerian operators and service providers at the forefront of play in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the industry,” he said.
The minister emphasised that of recent, there had also been a deliberate development of the local supply chain and growth in the number of Nigerian oil and gas service providers with more than 8,000 service providers and more the 60 operating companies registered on the NCDMB portal.
As part of deepening local content in the sector, the government noted that it had also carried out the establishment of two world-class pipe mills and five pipe coating yards.
“Before 2010, only three per cent of marine vessels were Nigerian owned; today, Nigerians control and own over 40 per cent of vessels that are used in the oil and gas industry.
“In the area of fabrication, Nigeria can handle fabrication of more than 60,000 tonnes per year with its array of world-class fabrication yards.
“In cable manufacturing, all cables required in the oil and gas sector are all manufactured in-country,” Sylva noted.
According to him, the country has also grown a large number of successful indigenous operators which now account for more than 15 per cent of its oil production and 60 per cent of domestic gas production.
He explained that Nigeria currently has in place infrastructure for integration of FPSO in-country, including the delivery of substantial elements of the Egina project and the integration of six modules in the country are as a result of local content intervention.
He said that two of the industrial parks are currently under construction in Bayelsa and Cross River States, expected to create more than 2,000 direct jobs when completed.
On modular refineries , he said: “The 5,000 Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State, developed in partnership with NCDMB is ready for commissioning once the current restrictions are lifted.”
He mentioned that the NCDMB has successfully managed the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, carried out forensic audit of NCDF remittances and sharpened its monitoring and enforcement roles to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Content Act.
Sylva called on the incoming members of the NCDMB Governing Council to do all they could to ensure that the set target is met by supporting the ongoing initiatives and by laying the foundation for the upcoming initiatives during their tenure.
While thanking the minister for his support, Mr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, said that it is now on record that Nigeria took the FID and signed a multi-billion dollar contract for the execution of NLNG Train-7 project right in the thick of a global pandemic.
“We are also making history in this room as we are about to witness the inauguration of the first ever female member of our governing council. We are really excited and grateful at the diversity and calibre of the incoming members of our governing council,” he said.
He noted that Covid-19 has shown that when there are existential threats, and nations are forced to close their borders, the ability to cater for the people in a safe and secure environment is inversely proportional to the country’s level of reliance on importation.
“Our reflection is that we are not fully at our destination but the situation could have been worse if not for the NOGICD Act. We are set and we are looking forward to the next decade of NCDMB with a sense of purpose to deliver on our mandate,” he said.