21 November 2012, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Implementation of Nigerian Content has attracted foreign direct investments worth over $500m in the manufacturing of equipment components for the Oil and Gas Industry, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke disclosed.
The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Practical Nigerian Content held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, which was attended by all the Governor of the host state, Chief Henry Serieke Dickson, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Andy Yakubu, the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Osten Olurusola and the Managing Directors of the six international operating companies.
The event also marked the signing of memorandum of understanding between the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria on a Pupilage/Internship Programme.
According to the Minister, the equipment components manufacturing initiative of the Board is an effective way to drive industrialization of the Nigerian economy and is already creating over 1000 skilled jobs in Nigeria.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa explained that the initiative which mandates original equipment manufacturers to partner with their representatives to set up facilities to manufacture or assemble equipment components in Nigeria will also ensure the retention of spend within the economy on critical industry equipment such as valves, pumps, electrical and instrumentation products.
She expressed confidence that the initiative will ensure that about 30 original equipment manufacturers will have set up fully in Nigeria within the next five years.
The Alison-Madueke described the Nigerian Content Act as the most important development in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry in the past few decades, noting that the impact of the Act was being felt in several sectors of the economy.
She said, “Nigerians now own land, swamp, jack up rigs and some proportion of deep offshore rigs. More Nigerians are acquiring Anchor Handling Tugs, Dynamic Positioning Platform Vessels, Line Handling Tugs and other larger vessels otherwise called category 2 vessels.”
The Minister further directed the Board to lead the industry to establish vessel and rig maintenance facilities so that the Nigerian economy will realize maximum economic benefits from asset ownership.
In the area of training and employment, Alison-Madueke indicated that the Board had also introduced guidelines that will ensure that investments in the industry lead to employment generation and training opportunities.
“In the last two years, over 5000 Nigerians have been provided training and employment opportunities under the project based training scheme of NCDMB,” she said.
Describing the Nigerian Content Act as the most heralded development in the oil and gas industry in the past few decades, the Minister said developments in the sector had always impacted other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking during the signing of the MoU, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Ernest Nwapa explained that service companies would now be required to submit a pupilage programme, committing to employ Nigerians as a precondition for participation in tenders.
“To qualify to play in the industry, you must demonstrate that you are running an employment programme. Companies will employ young Nigerians and put them through pupilage before the contracts are awarded, so they can work when the contract is awarded,” he said.
Nwapa explained that PETAN was chosen for this programme, because its members were the most enterprising players in the service end of the sector and they were partnering voluntarily with NCDMB on the programme.
He added that the Petroleum Technology Development Fund will also be involved in the programme.
The two day conference will culminate with a site visit to the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, Ogbele field on Wednesday.