14 September 2016, Lagos – The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has expressed optimism that the local content policy would be extended to other sectors of the economy.
Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Patrick Obah made the remark during a facility visit of Kaztec Engineering fabrication yard at Snake Island, Apapa, Lagos.
Obah, who was accompanied by a team of oil industry and NCDMB officials, noted that the fabrication yard meets world class standard in oil and gas industry. He expressed concern that a lot of fabrication yards are lying fallow owing to dearth of jobs.
The NCDMB boss said the local content policy should not be limited to the oil and gas industry but should be extended to other sectors to provide more jobs for the fabrication yards.
Ogor said: “The visit afforded us the opportunity to see what is on ground in those facilities. What we saw is a manifestation of what Nigerian companies can do in-country.
The fabrication is a testimony that Nigerians can really do a lot and meet world class standard in oil and gas industry. From what we saw, the Kaztec fabrication yard can do things to world class specifications.’’
He added: “A lot of the fabrication yards are lying fallow, they are dying because of lack of jobs. We will ensure that the local content policy is not be limited to the oil and gas industry but should cover other sectors so that there will be more jobs. For instance, in the construction industry that makes use of a lot constructed products, you will now see that yards such as Kaztec yard and other construction yards will be very busy because they don’t only need to do jobs for the oil and gas industry.’’
Speaking in the same vein, the Technical Adviser to the Chairman of Kaztec, Israel Nweke attributed the lack of jobs to low oil prices and the process in which jobs are awarded.
He said they only way government can help local companies get jobs is through concession.
He said: Concession is the anwer. For instance, if you come to the government now; you are an IOC, you need approval, you want to build four new platforms; the government can say okay, bid two out while the other two will be concession to established yards with this kind of facilities.
According to him, the government can direct those companies that have established yards to negotiate with the company offering the job, adding, “If the government put them all out for bidding, it is going to be challenging, so the only way government can do that is to give concession.’’
He said because of the falling oil prices, the oil companies are cutting costs to minimise expenses.
“Before you do anything now, you need to check how much you are making visa-vis how much you are going to spend and I think that is one of the things that is making the oil companies not to spend much.’’
He said: ‘’Most of the Nigerian oil facilities are old and are than 40years, they need to be revamped; when you are doing a revamp project, you need a facility like what you have in Kaztec. But now the revamp activity is not as much as you would expect because the oil price, which is suppose to match that activity is not roboust enough to suck in that cost.
Nweke added: “For big yards like ours; in Singapore and other parts of the world, where we’ve seen capacity being grown, you identify yards liike this and then if you give them jobs, you don’t put them out there to bid; what they normally do is they sit down with you and negotiate the cost with you.
He said local firms are not getting enough support but only small jobs. “Most of the jobs that are regular in the oil company are the fabrication of small items, we haven’t gotten the big ones. So if you really dont need the big yard, it just make sense to go to a small yard. With what we have, we should be getting patronage but we are not’’, he lamented.
He explained: ‘’When you talk about yards; yards come in different sizes, what KAZTEC has is a yard that can do almost anything. There are some kind of items you want to fabricate, that you can’t fabricate in a smaller yard, you need to come to a bigger yard to do do. The bigger yard can do both the small and the big, but the smaller yard can only do the small and cannot do the big. What Kaztec has can do everything.’’
- This Day