16 February 2017, Abuja – The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board has announced that the level of compliance to local content laws by operators in the oil and gas industry will be extended to the midstream and downstream sectors this year.
It stated that before now, the NCDMB’s compliance oversight functions had focused majorly on operators in the upstream sector, adding that this had to change considering the enormous local content opportunities in the other two sectors of the industry.
The agency’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Simbi Wabote, who disclosed this at an event to mark his 100 days in office, stated that the organisation was being reorganised to effectively carry out the latest task.
He said, “This year, we will expand our compliance oversight to midstream and downstream oil sectors. The focus of the board compliance monitoring had focused largely on the upstream sector operations of the industry, mainly because of the higher percentage spend in the sub-sector.
“In 2017, we have reorganised our monitoring structures and will pay much more attention to the implementation of Nigerian content in the midstream and downstream sectors of the industry.”
Operators in the midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry include those involved in refining, processing, petrochemical and petroleum products marketing.
Wabote also stated that the agency would conduct a baseline study on Nigerian content implementation in order to review how well it had implemented the Act in the past six years.
This, he said, would enable the board to know where it made progress and where it needed to raise the game, adding that the NCDMB had commenced the project with the support of its consultants.
He said, “We have developed the Community Content Guidelines, which provide pragmatic steps for incorporating and engaging community contractors as a critical delivery point for Nigerian content development.
“The guidelines were born out of the necessity to boost peace and security in the Niger Delta and address the lingering squabble between host communities and operating and service companies over participation in oil and gas activities.”
He added, “Sections 25, 26, 27 and 28 (1) & (2) of the Nigerian Content Act provide for the operator to maintain a level of presence in communities where projects are located. The sections also mandate participation of community entrepreneurs in activities of operations throughout projects’ life cycle.”
Wabote explained that the Petroleum Industry Road map that was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2016 to revitalise the oil and gas industry made it clear that 30 per cent of business opportunities from operating companies should be deployed in communities.
“The board’s Community Content Guidelines set out strategies to realise this target and we have already aligned our capacity development initiatives to support the delivery of the aspirations encapsulated in the Petroleum Industry Road map,” he said.
On the Nigerian Content Development Fund, the executive secretary stated that it had grown to $600m in the last seven years, but only three service companies had successfully accessed the fund.