26 November 2013, Lagos – The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Ernest Nwapa, has stated that the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act by the federal government has attracted $5billion worth of investments into the economy and created about 38,000 jobs, since 2009.
Speaking at opening session of the just-concluded Practical Nigerian Content Workshop which held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nwapa said the implementation of the Act succeeded because of the strong support of President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership provided by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
He said the implementation of the Act had ensured that most industry services were being executed in-country and not taken abroad as was the case in the first 50 years of oil exploration and production in Nigeria. He said this has created thousands of jobs for Nigerians.
He cited the heightened interest of investors in establishing pipe mills in Nigeria, local ownership and operatorship of high technology vessels and rigs and the expanding investment by indigenous service companies as evidence that the Nigerian Content Act has changed the industry operating environment.
Nwapa said the increasing ownership of rigs and vessels by Nigerians made it imperative for the establishment and upgrade of existing dockyards in the country to service marine vessels working in the industry to ensure the retention of spend otherwise taken out of the country for such services.
In his address, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, called for sub-Nigerian Content which would extend the benefits of Nigerian Content implementation to local communities.
He said it was important for indigenes from oil producing communities to have access to opportunities provided by oil and gas exploration in their localities to ensure the sustainable operation of the industry.
Dickson, who spoke through his deputy, John Jonah, decried the low participation of people from oil producing areas in the oil and industry, adding that the state was taking several measures to ensure that its citizens become major players in every sphere of the sector.
He further canvassed the patronage of locally manufactured goods, which might cost slightly more than imported substitutes, but the extra costs will go a long way in galvanising the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and benefiting the economy.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman of Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Nigeria, Mr. Mark Ward, lauded the landmark achievements recorded by the NCDMB in implementation of the Nigerian Content Act.
He listed some of the achievements of OPTS members in furtherance of the Nigerian Content to include collaborating with Nigerian banks to provide over $10 billion in financing support to Nigerian service companies at reduced interest rates, relaxed collateral requirement and reduced loan processing time.
He further pledged the commitment of his company and other international companies who make up the OPTS to support the initiatives of NCDMB towards developing capacity in the industry.
The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, in her address stated that the Ministry had developed a Local Content Policy as it relates to Information and Communication technologies and called for inter-agency collaboration as a way of extending local content to other key growth industries in the Nigerian economy.
– This Day