24 July 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Federal Government has commended the achievements of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) within its four years of existence, describing the agency as a major contributor to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke gave the commendation last week while fielding questions from journalists after visiting the headquarters of the Board in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
According to her, “we are all extremely pleased at the Federal level with the various achievements this Board has recorded within this period of time. It is quite clear from our various movements particularly when we go to international fora and see the numbers of Nigerians that are now exhibiting the services they deliver to the industry. It is progressing robustly every year and going from strength to strength. Within Nigeria, the success of Nigerian Content is incredible.”
The Minister also underscored the adoption of the Nigerian Content philosophy by other sectors of the economy like the Ministry of Communications Technology and Ministry of Power as further proof that that the implementation of the Act has been effective.
She said, “the fact that Nigerian Content policies are about to be deployed in various parts of the economy and ministries as well want to copy and learn from the Ministry of Petroleum is one of the things we can be actually proud of. It is one of the strengths of the oil and gas sector in the President Jonathan’s administration and we are very pleased with it.”
On her expectation for the future, Alison-Madueke expressed confidence that Nigerian Content implementation will “lend itself in a critical way to the growth of the nation’s economy and development of the citizenry in terms of knowledge, capacity building and employment generation.”
Speaking earlier at the Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum (BSIEF), the Minister charged Nigerians, particularly indigenes of the state to take advantage of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act and the fact that NCDMB is located in Yenagoa to play key roles in the oil and gas industry.
She listed key initiatives of the Board which would benefit Nigerians and Bayelsa indigenes directly to include the pilot pipe mill being developed at Polaku, Bayelsa State, the NCDMB Headquarters building project in Yenagoa, the Oil and Gas Industrial Park development in Utuoke, Bayelsa State, artisanal training programme being organised by the Board in conjunction with the Federal University Utuoke, and a host of other activities.
The Minister further explained that over $200m will be invested in the pilot pipe mill project, which is expected to be completed before the end of 2015. Noting that civil works and development of jetty have started, she said over 500 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs will be created by the project while some community youths will be trained abroad to work in the plant.
Alison-Madueke who doubles as the chairman of NCDMB’s Governing Council also confirmed that the Board’s headquarters’ building project will cost over $200m and is planned to be completed in 36 months. To ensure adequate participation of young Nigerians in the project, the Board has commenced the training of 100 artisans who will eventually work in the project. She stated that the project will employ over 1000 workers while 10,000 indirect jobs in subcontracts and supply opportunities will be created.
She also identified the Oil and Gas Industrial Park as another major development which will create opportunities for Nigerians, including Bayelsa indigenes. Giving an update on the project, the Minister said about $100m investment will be sunk into the project and infrastructure construction will commence later in the year. The facility will provide a platform for the manufacturing of components of the oil and gas industry equipment and create over 50,000 jobs.
Throwing more light on the provisions of Nigerian Content Act, the Minister clarified that “Nigerians have been given first consideration in various areas in the oil and gas sector. These areas range from award of oil blocks, oil field licenses, oil lifting licenses. There is also exclusive consideration to Nigerian indigenous service companies which demonstrate ownership of equipment, personnel and capacity for jobs in land and swamp operating areas.”
She added, “There are so many areas within the industry that you can come into. Visit the NCDMB office and get a copy of the Act so as to be informed about the myriad areas of opportunities through the Nigerian Content Act.”