28 September 2013, Abuja – The Nigerian oil and gas industry celebrated another milestone in the development of indigenous infrastructure for the delivery of world class well construction service which has demonstrated that with Nigerian Content policy and law, it is possible to attract investment in-country and domicile real value creation within the Nigerian economy.
Delivering a keynote address at the launch of the AOS Orwell Operational Base in Port Harcourt recently, the Executive Secretary of the Board, Ernest Nwapa asserted that from the onset of local content implementation, the Board had emphasized that Nigerian Content is not about Nigerianisation or making oil and gas service delivery an exclusive preserve for Nigerian companies.
He indicated that with structured mergers, alliances or partnerships between Nigerian and foreign companies the industry is better able to harness technology acquisition, local content requirements and people development into real local value creation and domiciliation of services in Nigeria which demonstrates the confidence AOS Orwell shareholders have with the Nigerian Content policy assuring that facilities within Nigeria are given first consideration in any work emanating from the Nigeria oil and gas industry.
He further hinted that this investment has yielded benefits as AOS Orwell is one of the main contractors on the Egina project – a $15 billion offshore investment in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Content Chief Executive emphasized government’s firm believe in any entity benefiting from work in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to develop infrastructure within the country for enduring service delivery.
“The launch of AOS Operational Base is, therefore, coming at a time NCDMB is promoting the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrial Park Scheme, NOGIPS, as the concept of the industrial park is to spur small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to grow their capability in manufacturing through partnerships with multinationals and original equipments manufacturers, OEMs”, Mr. Nwapa said.
He said that in a bid to address these challenges the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke in her capacity as Chairman of NCDMB Governing Council directed Management of the Board to establish industrial parks in oil producing communities to facilitate the manufacture of Made-in-Nigeria goods for the oil and gas industry, as the scheme will commence its pilot phase in three locations with benefits to create over 3,000 jobs per location, alleviate employment pressure on oil companies, technology and skills acquisition and active participation of community entrepreneurs in oil and gas supply chain.
The Executive Secretary assured stakeholders that the government is committed to implementing and supporting programs that are focused on creating jobs, developing indigenous technical expertise and stimulating sectoral linkages for economic growth and development.
He, however, bemoaned the unemployment issue among youths as one of the biggest challenges in the nation despite increased activities in the oil and gas sector.
Hinting that the low level of manufactured goods supporting the oil and gas industry is also another source of concern in the Board’s effort to maximize in-country value addition from Nigerian Content implementation.
Mr. Nwapa noted that with government backing the Board will continue to support genuine local and international investors that set up facilities in Nigeria.
He assuredly affirmed that under the Nigerian Content policy of the Federal Government any facility established in Nigeria will be accorded first consideration in award of contracts.
In his tribute, the Chairman of AOS Orwell, Mr. Azad Shivdasani enumerated the operational strides of the company to include one of its core activities in the early 90s being down hole fishing thus making them leaders in Nigeria with over 80% market share.
He emphasized that consistency, unperturbed cycles of downturn, perseverance, setting values and not compromising these values in good and bad times were the underlying principles that kept the company above board.
“Another milestone in a very long journey was the firm’s believe in the Nigerian Content philosophy as it set out to take up the challenge that things can be done in Nigeria, with tremendous commitment AOS Orwell succeeded and is bold to say it can be done in Nigeria and we are proud of it”, Mr. Shivdasani asserted.
In his remarks, the MD/CEO of AOS Orwell, Mr. Femi Omotayo showered encomiums on the Board indicating that Nigerian Content policy has given the firm an opportunity to earn from its investment with a clear focus on training which has helped the company form a proper strategy to develop Nigerians.
He applauded NCDMB for its accessibility by indigenous companies, having a listening ear to issues raised by service operators and its proactive approach with IOCs which has reposed confidence in operators bearing in mind their investments. Mr. Omotayo, however, thanked the Board for giving AOS Orwell the benchmark and confidence in chasing the Nigerian Content vision.
Highpoint of the launch was a facility tour of the corporate headquarters and other operational areas which were the warehouse, world class equipment and machine shops, training centre and fishing, casing and tubular sections which expressed the company’s attitude on quality and professionalism.
*NCDMB Press statement