Expatriate oil workers in Nigeria to undergo biometric registration – NCDMB

*Oil producing states to get industrial parks

10 February 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Expatriates working in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry will henceforth undertake biometric registration as part of conditions they must fulfill before their organizations can secure expatriate quota approvals from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

The exercise will capture details of all foreigners working for operating and service companies in Nigeria on the electronic platform-Nigerian Content Joint Qualification System, (NOJICJQS) being operated by the Board.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Ernest Nwapa who disclosed this at the Addax Executive Business Seminar on Nigerian Content, explained that the exercise will kick-off in the first quarter of 2013.

According to him, the registration will help the Board evaluate the skills of the expatriates and confirm that such skills are not available locally in the industry.

It will also assist the Board to electronically track the number of expatriates in the industry, their length of stay, compliance with provided succession plans and expected date of exit.

At the completion of the biometric registration, each expatriate will get a unique card, which he or she will produce whenever the monitoring team from the Board come around for periodic verification.

Section 33 of the NOGICD Act mandates operators to apply and receive the approval of the Board before making any application for expatriate quota to the Ministry of Internal Affairs or any other agency of the Federal Government.

Among other conditions, the Board requires companies seeking to get expatriate quota approvals for their operations in the oil and gas industry to first advertise the positions to Nigerians through national and international media outfits.

Other new initiatives of the Board endorsed by the Governing Council of the Board under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke, include the planned establishment of industrial parks in each oil producing state in partnership with the state governments.

This will stimulate the participation of the communities in the local supply chain and provide a direct platform for collaboration with original equipment manufacturers who are now required to manufacture a minimum proportion of components in Nigeria.

He explained that the Board will collaborate with major operators, service companies and the relevant state Governments to build industrial parks which will support operations of the industry and help achieve service efficiency through shared services.

Other benefits of the industrial park concept include the reduction of start-up investment cost for new business, stakeholders collaboration and industry commitment to utilize manufactured products from industrial parks.

The parks will host manufacturing activities driven by the Oil and Gas industry demand but will certainly service other sectors of the economy as they grow organically into integrated industrial zones.

The start-up product slate will include steel pipes & allied fittings, switch gears , panels, skids, pipe racks and brackets, Environmental protection equipment, chemicals, industrial gases, computers, telecom and other ICT equipment components, Furniture, LPG cylinders, Bolts & Nuts, Drilling fluids.

The Executive Secretary declared that the strategy has been successfully deployed to stimulate small and medium scale enterprises focused on the Oil and Gas technology into sustainable engines for technological growth and employment at the grass root level.

He noted that the major operators will benefit from increased entrepreneurial activities in their host communities and announced that the Board has reached out to the state Governments to participate in an SME fair to enable it identify companies with potentials to incubate and grow.

In this way, over 100,000 productive jobs will be created across the communities for skills ranging from professional to artisanal and deemphasize the social employment prevalent in the communities.

“The fair will identify SMEs with capacity which will be supported and accommodated in the new industrial parks to manufacture goods used in industry with the active involvement of the traditional OEMs” he added.

The Board will activate the provisions of the Act to provide specific incentives for OEMs that participate in the initiative such as locking in orders for equipment or components manufactured/Assembled in these parks for extended periods.

He also noted that Nigerian companies had committed to invest over $600m in the manufacture and assembly of various equipments and components.

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