16 September 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – THE Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board has warned against the indiscriminate acquisition of vessels without specification by indigenous ship operators in the oil and gas industry.
Speaking at the christening of ‘DSV Avianna’ at the Naval dockyard in Lagos the Executive Secretary of the Board, Ernest Nwapa said that the development has given the Board some challenges
Nwapa warned that indigenous companies wishing to benefit from the opportunities must exercise diligence to ensure that vessels being procured meet the requirements.
He stated that the Federal Government through the Nigerian Content
Development and Monitoring Board will not permit a situation where Nigerians that invest in marine vessels that meet set technical requirements stay without work while foreign owned vessels are engaged by the industry.
“It is therefore imperative that assets procured by Nigerians in this way must be put to work so as to guarantee the viability of the investments.
Anything less than this will not only kill the Nigerian companies which are exposed to the loans but also threaten the local banks that funded the assets”. Nwapa stated
He noted that, there has been an unprecedented interest from Nigerian banks seeking to understand the opportunities and participate in marine vessel financing adding that there is evidence that Nigerian banks have participated in funding over 1bn dollar assets in this short period.
He explained that at the practical level, the government must address the fact the vessels so acquired by Nigerian are actually owned by Nigerians, adding that these vessels and equipment can be engaged with contract that will optimize employment for Nigerians and keep money earned in the Nigerian economy.
The board according Nwapa will also ensure that the vessels are continuously maintained in Nigeria, just as the the issue of Temporary import permit is being looked into in such a way that it will benefit Nigerian businesses at the end of the day.
Ernest Nwapa said that the Board it has requested all the indigenous vessel owners to upload their details onto the Nigerian Content Joint Qualification System.
“Having done this, we are now in the process of verifying the authenticity of these claims before further categorizing marine vessel owners in line with marine vessel strategy”.