The 8th Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) Forum that held in Yenago, Bayelsa State ended on a high note with impressive records of landmark achievements by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). This is in addition to several validating testimonies from industry players on the improvement of in-country capacity utilisation, active participation of the indigenous companies in Nigeria’s energy sector activities, among others. And for many stakeholders, collaboration remains key to achieving the much desired increased content level in the nation’s oil and gas industry that will ultimately lead to industrialisation and economic growth and development of the country.
Given the quality and enriching experience participants are usually left with from every edition of the PNC, the annual industry gathering on Nigerian Content implementation (PNC forum) has over the years become an annual convergence of industry experts, captains of industry, and stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, and top leaders in the Nigerian Content policy implementation. The 2018 edition of PNC recorded an unprecedented number of attendees, confirming industry players other stakeholders’ acceptance of the annual event.
With a theme, “Nigerian Content: Driving Economic Development and Sustainability” dissected through keynote speeches, spotlight sessions, panel sessions, roundtable discussions, among others, the NOGICD Act was said to be a true driver of economic development and a strategic enabler for the industrialisation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors. Also, others considered local content policy implementation as an important course that is capable of changing the trajectory of this country.
Outlining some of the achievements the industry, as well as the country, has recorded since the enactment of the NOGICD Act, the Chairman of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Mazi Bank-Anthony Okoroafor noted that the enforcement of the Act in the oil and gas industry has accelerated the rate of in-country capacity utilisation, reduced capital flight, led to increase in the number of Nigerian service companies, Nigerian-owned assets and equipment, among others.
According to the Chairman of the association of indigenous technical oilfield service companies in the upstream and downstream sectors, the policy has continued to bear fruit especially, as Nigerian-owned companies are beginning to play more active roles in the industry. Noting that the indigenous companies are now penetrating such areas that were formerly dominated by the IOCs as they now own offshore assets, invest in rigs, acquire mining licenses, among others. Attributing the results achieved so far to the impact of knowledge transfer, the PETAN Chairman said, “When we look at what NOGICD Act has achieved looking at its objective to develop Nigerian Content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, it tells you that the country is on the part of recovery. There has been growth in the number of Nigerian-owned assets and equipment such as rigs, marine vessels and many more. Today, there are more companies in this class which was never the case before the enactment of the NOGICD Act.
“On the growth of Nigerian service companies, before the NOGICD Act, we had 27 Nigerian-owned service companies operating in Nigeria. But at the last count, we have 287 service companies. I remember those days they kept telling us “you Nigerians cannot do it.
“That is why I said that the NOGICD Act is what I call strategy formulation with strategic execution and what the NCDMB Executive Secretary and his team and the entire Nigerians have done is what I call “change management”.
Focusing on capacity development, Okorafor disclosed that while less than 500 man hours of training was the much that was obtained before the enactment of the NOGICD Act, said that it currently stands at more than 6,000,000 man hours of training. “When Usam was on, in-country training was 150,000 man hours, when Egina was on, it was 450,000 man hours. Engineering in Usam was 400,000 man hours while Egina stood at 1,467,000 man hours. The key thing that happened to that engineering was that we saw collaboration between Nigerian companies, which has never happened before. So, if somebody tells you that NOGICD is not working, the person does not have his facts, the PETAN Chairman, posited.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu reiterating Federal Government’s commitment to deepening local content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Similarly, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru assured NCDMB of the Corporation’s commitment to partnering with the Board to increase the Nigerian Content in oil and gas industry to 90 per cent before 2027. He said that the NNPC would collaborate with the Board in setting up research clusters with a speciality in oil and gas activities. “We are fully committed to NCDMB’s agenda for the next ten years to increase Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry to 90 per cent. This initiative will engender economic development and sustain it through backward and forward integration for local content maximization of various industries, he said.
Calling on the industry operators and stakeholders to adopt collaboration as an integral element towards improving Nigerian Content in the industry, the Country Chairman, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Osagie Okunbor said that the company’s local content achievement ride on the strength of its collaboration with other stakeholders in the industry as well as the company’s vision for mutual benefit.
He said, “Sustainable value is created through a collaborative framework that strengthens the inter-connected system that improves in-country value creation which includes the framework of research and development, education sector performance, human capacity development, strong manufacturing base, industrial sector performance. A good example of efforts aimed at strengthening a value creation system is the ongoing collaboration between SNEPCo and two Nigerian universities – University of Port Harcourt and the University of Ibadan.” The objective he said is to explore the possibility of reducing capital flight by using local materials and stimulating industry production with cross-sectoral linkages.
Welcoming participants to the 8th edition of the PNC forum, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote noted that the Board’s achievements were largely made possible through collaboration with government agencies as well as other stakeholders in the sector. Stating some of the purposes the PNC serves for both participants as well as for the Board, Wabote said the workshops, seminars, conferences are designed to educate Nigerians on the Board’s activities. Adding that “it also creates room for people to see what Nigerians have been able to do over the years; to create room for interaction and for us, most importantly to get feedback from our various stakeholders on how we are expected to improve on our activities.”
Enumerating some of the Board’s achievement in 2018, Wabote said that “We are happy to report that we achieved the Egina FPSO integration. Others include the commencement of infrastructural development of our industrial parks and the international certification programme for 20 marine personnel. Another signature achievement under the technical support pillar is the provision of support to catalyse the establishment of the 5000 barrels per day modular refinery in Okigwe, Imo State. In all, it has been collaboration, collaboration all the way,” he said.
The Executive Secretary appreciated Bayelsa State Government for its immense and continuous support in hosting the annual event. He noted that the Board deeply appreciated the support it got from companies and said that stimulant for greater achievement on its assignment. He disclosed some of the Board’s plans for 2019 to include, “to support the establishment of at least two more modular refineries and participate in the LPG value chain, progress the infrastructural development of the industrial parks, finalise the review of offshore rig acquisition strategies and ensure the posting of the 20 trained marine personnel for one year international sea time training in fulfilment of the requirement for certificate of competency.”