July 16, 2024
Nigerian Content Key To Meeting Renewed Hope Agenda – Petroleum Minister
– By Godswill Odiong

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has identified the effective implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010 as one of the key levers for actualizing the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

Speaking during his tour of NCDMB facilities and projects in Bayelsa State on Tuesday, the Minister revealed that the key mandates of the NCDMB, which are the promotion of in-country value addition in the oil and gas industry, incentivizing local manufacturing in the oil industry, development of human and material capacities and job creation are major pathways for meeting the key aspirations of the current administration.

He hailed the Executive Secretary and the management of the Board for a sterling performance, highlighting the creation of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) as one of the Board’s most impactful initiatives. He noted that lack of accessto affordable finance is one of the biggest challenges facing emerging players in the oil and gas sector, hinting that the NCI Fund which is administered by the Bank of Industry (BOI) will assist qualified oil and gas companies to access the capital they need to grow, build capacities, and create jobs.

Commenting after he toured the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGaPS) at Emeyal 1, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the Minister described the park project as a game changer in the nation’s drive to catalyze in-country manufacturing in the oil and gas and linkage sectors and job creation. He promised that the Federal Government would support the NCDMB in every possible way to achieve its core mandates.

According to him, “Mr. President will do whatever he can to ensure that we achieve a lot more than had been achieved in the past from Nigerian Content. We are happy that Nigerian Content has made very strategic investments geared towards creating jobs. We need to redouble the achievements of the Board. We hope that NCDMB will help Nigerians to play a lot more prominent role in the oil and gas industry.

Referencing the ongoing plans by some international oil companies to divest from onshore and shallow waters and move to deep and ultra-offshore operations, Senator Lokpobiri pointed out that indigenous companies have been able to step in and fill the openings courtesy of the systematic empowerment by the Board over the years. “Nigerian companies are doing very well today, courtesy of the capacity-building strategies that were institutionalized by the NCDMB in the past years,” he asserted.

Lokpobiri further extolled the Board for constructing and maintaining the iconic 17-storey Nigerian Content Tower and the 1000-capacity NCDMB Conference Hall. He indicated that the aesthetics and ambiance of the facilities surpassed most locations across the world and called for the sustenance of the culture. He said: “I commend the Board for the maintenance culture it has on its facilities. I want to see the edifice having the same look down the line. The challenge of infrastructural development is the maintenance. I will give all the support I can,so we have the edifice maintained for the benefit of all Nigerians.  

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, gave the Minister a brief history of the Board, successive stages undergone, the strengths and accomplishments of the Board todate. On the NoGaPS project, the Executive Secretary mentioned that the Emeyal 1 park would be commissioned in the first quarter of 2024. He attributed the slight delay in theexecution schedule to the devastating flooding that hit several states in the second and third quarters of 2022.

Giving further updates on the project, Wabote announced that several manufacturing firms and other vendors had expressed interest in operating at the parks. He said the Board is currently screening the applicants to select serious firms for the Bayelsa and Cross River parks.

As part of the facility tour, the Minister and his entourage inspected the NCDMB Fire Station, Creche, the three-star NCDMB Conference Hotel under construction, the Nigeria Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGaPS) facility at Emeyal-1, the NCDMB gas power plant at Elebele, and the NCDMB Gas Hub at Polaku.

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