Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has revealed that by 2027, it would create 300,000 direct jobs, retention of USD20 billion spend in the oil and gas industry and ensure the domiciliation of major fabrication yards and manufacturing hubs in the country.
Similarly, the Board noted that its vision was to be able to develop 70 percent local content capacity in the oil and gas sector by 2027.
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote stated this while sharing the journey of the board from its past, to the present and the future during a breakfast meeting with member of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) held at Sheraton Hotels, Lagos.
He said that all nations including Nigeria must take a cue from the COVID-19 disruptions and continue to develop local capacities to be able to develop robust and resilience to disruptions and threats to their economic wellbeing.
Wabote expressed happiness about the prospects of the board’s partnership with GOCOP and assembly of media practitioners in the new media space, adding that digital journalism is the new and huge field that ensures that with a push of the button their content is available to the global audience.
He said Nigeria has moved from near zero participation in the oil and gas sector to the point that indigenous operators such as SEPLAT, AITEO, EROTON among others are now responsible for 15 percent of oil production and 60 percent of domestic gas supply.
He said: “We now have two world class pipe mills and five coating yards, more than 40 percent of marine vessels used in the oil and gas industry are now owned by Nigerians.
“While Nigerians can handle fabrication of more than 250,000 tonnes per annum, even as the indigenous workforce were able to sustain oil production at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.”
Wabote, who has 26 years private sector exposure in Shell Petroleum where he rose to the level of the director before his appointment said over 50,000 jobs have been created on the back of the implementation of the NCDMB Act.
He said the board not only completed and commissioned a 17-storey headquarters building in Bayelsa within four years, complete with a 1,000 seater conference auditorium and multi-level car park, the completion of 10 megawatts plant for the supply of electricity to the headquarters and its industrial park as well as the commissioning of 5,000bpd Walter Smith Modular Refinery in Imo State, which produces AGO.
He said another modular refinery would be commissioned by March end in Edo State, to further the mandate of the board of backward integration and enhance the nation’s capacity in oil and gas.
Wabote explained that the board launched the $350million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund managed by the Bank of Industry and NEXIM Bank for single digit loan for local players in the oil and gas field and has midwifed the only infrastructure in Africa for FPSO Integration at the Egina FPSO, which is the largest in the world.
He said the board floated a $50m Special Loan product for women in the oil and gas sector and set up another $30m Working Capital Fund to support oil and gas companies, both funds he said are managed by NEXIM Bank.
He said over the last four years, the level of expatriate quota has continued on a downward trend due to strident monitoring activities and collaboration with the Ministry of Interior.
According to Wabote: “Last Thursday, we secured the approval of our Governing Council to set up a US$50m fund for NOGAPS manufacturing product line to be dedicated to companies that would operate in the Nigerian Oil and Gas parks being constructed by the board in Bayelsa and Cross River States.
“Construction of oil and gas industrial parks spread across six states complete with infrastructure and utilities to promote local production.
“The board would before the end of the year commission 1.2 million composite LPG cylinders, partnering for the establishment of additional modular refinery in Bayelsa and Edo States, and partnering to deepen LPG utilization in the North, with the roll out of LPG bottling plants and depots in 10 Northern states of Kaduna, Bauchi, Katsina, Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Gombe, Zamfara, Jigawa and Abuja.”
Furthermore, he said Nigeria now has capacity to manufacture low, medium, and high voltage cables and paints that can match any standard or quality in any part of the world.
The NCDMB chief said: “Nigeria now has a well-established local content in the oil and gas industry such that other nations are coming to learn from us, we need to now extend it to other sectors of the economy to further drive our national development in the growth trajectory”.
Earlier, Principal Partner, Vale Partners, Barrister Kamela Okara urged GOCOP members to stoutly rise against fake news and develop ground rules to guide the operations of members which would help sanitise online publishing in the country.
Okara, a former Secretary to the Government in Bayelsa State and ex-governorship candidate in the state said the online media practitioners must hold sacrosanct the ethics of the profession, with a view to ensuring that consumers of news products are protected from blackmailers and purveyors of fake news.
Speaking on the topic: “Ethical and Legal Landmines in the Age of Digital Journalism,” Okara said online professionals must be abreast of the demands of the law guiding their operation, adding that they risk being prosecuted for breach of any of the laws.
He said though Section 39, sub section 1 guarantees freedom of expression, yet these freedoms must be protected. He listed plagiarism, law of sedition, law of defamation, cybercrime law, Official Secret Act, Law of Contempt, Obscene and Harmful Publication Law and Copyright Act are some of the laws that operators must be conversant with in order to ensure they play safe even as they practice their profession as media entrepreneurs.