24 December 2013, Lagos – Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Mr. Ernest Nwapa has stated that Nigerian indigenous contractors in the oil and gas industry have no cause to celebrate yet but should demand for bigger projects from the foreign contractors and operators.
Speaking at the weekend in Lagos on the occasion of the celebration of the successful completion of the detailed engineering of the offshore living quarters of the Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel for Total’s Egina deepwater field, Nwapa said the celebration could send a wrong signal that Nigerian indigenous contractors were already satisfied with the scope of work being given to them by the foreign firms.
Nwapa said the NCDMB would continue to hold the foreign contractors and operators on the commitment they had made, adding that the celebration of the completion of the detailed engineering did not mean that the board was happy with the contractors.
“But it is important to note that we have had our fight. We always fight at the beginning. The press men asked us the other day why we have not stopped any project or sanctioned any operator and does it mean everybody is complying? The simple answer is that our fights are usually at the beginning. Once we agree on the commitments like what Total has committed to do, it is very easy for us to point it out when they are deviating,” he said.
Nwapa said the NCDMB was set up to create more capacity and get more work done in Nigeria, not on adhoc basis but on continuous basis.
“I just believe that in an FPSO project, that coming to have a big party like this for detailed engineering could send a wrong signal that we are already satisfied. We are not yet satisfied. So, as Nigerians, we are looking for bigger projects. Let us always take one project, put it in our pocket and ask for more. That is what we continue to say to Nigerian engineering contractors, fabricators and all our companies that are working in the industry,” he added.
Nwapa said the award of the detailed engineering project to a Nigerian indigenous contractor should not be seen as a dash but as a way of doing business in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, adding however, that being the first step, the successful completion of the contract was a sign of progress.
He noted that the completion of the detailed engineering by an indigenous contractor was more than a step forward and should be celebrated.
“So, we are not just interested in seeing this project as if it is a dash, but as something that has become part of our way of doing business. We want to see it done in such a way that we layer it. We layer Ofon and then we layer Egina on top of Ofon and we put our learning together, so that we do not dissipate that, which we are doing. I am very sure that Samsung knows this because this is the way they themselves became a big international company,” he said.
– Ejiofor Alike, This Day