*Senate pledges to support implementation
25 June 2013, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria has reconfirmed its commitment to build a jetty worth $5m in support of the pilot pipe mill being promoted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in Polaku, Bayelsa State.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Ernest Nwapa stated this on Wednesday when he received members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) who came on oversight visit to the Board in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The jetty will be used for shipping raw materials and finished products from the 250 metric tonne pipe mill being located in the same precincts with the Shell Gbaran Ubie’s gas plant and the National Integrated Power Plant.
Already, the 10 hectares of land acquired for the project is being prepared for civil works after bush clearing and Shell has begun technical of assessment the land preparatory to the construction of the jetty.
The construction of the jetty is part of the wide ranging industry support for the pilot pipe mill and other developmental initiatives of the Board, the Executive Secretary said.
He explained that the pipe mill will create over 1000 direct jobs and several thousands of indirect jobs for Nigerians as well as provide an invaluable platform for training Nigerians.
The mill will also supply pipes for-the over 2000 kilometers of new gas pipelines to be laid in the Gas Master Plan, replacement of aged existing pipes, as well as supply pipes for the numerous fertilizer, LPG and gas to power projects planned for the next few years.
Responding to questions from the Committee members led by their chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, the Executive Secretary explained that the Board’s monitoring process starts from the conceptualization of industry projects through to the implementation stage, thereby ensuring that operators and stakeholders comply with provisions of the Act.
He reassured the Senate Committee that with the support of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Board’s implementation of the Act has been robust and of tremendous impact across the industry, resulting in the development of new facilities, infrastructure and new skills.
He further explained that the Board was also focusing on developing local capacity, which will ensure that industry jobs are executed in-country and employment is created for qualified Nigerians.
Nwapa stressed that the existence of local capacity and manufacturing of components of industry equipment was a sure way to grow Nigerian Content, create employment from the industry and reduce dependence on importation for industry operations.
Other initiatives of the Board, according to the Executive Secretary, includes the ongoing projects based training programmes as well as the training of welders, carpenters, fitters and other professionals who will participate in the construction of the Board’s headquarters building.
According to him, the Board is working to establish Nigeria Oil and Gas Industrial Parks in close proximity to the oil fields to spur small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to grow their capability in manufacturing through partnerships with multinationals and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
“We intend to use the industrial park model to establish physical infrastructure and create enabling environment for low-cost manufacturing of equipment components, with a view to maximize utilization of Nigerian made goods in the oil and gas industry; and to integrate community entrepreneurs into oil and gas value chain.”
In their comments, the Senators commended the Board for the success it has recorded in three years of implementing the Nigerian Content Act.
Senator Paulker who led the committee’s commendations, stated that the Board has an important role to play in the development of the economy, especially in increasing the participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry and developing indigenous capacity.
He described the Nigerian Content Act as one of the most important legislations passed by the legislature in the past few years and promised that the Senate will support the Board in every possible way to ensure that stakeholders comply with provisions of the Act.
Also contributing, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri charged the Board to closely monitor activities of the international oil companies and ensure that they comply with the Act.
Members of the committee also visited the sites for the pilot pipe mill and the Board’s headquarters as part of their oversight visit.