It is no longer news that the price of oil in the international market is on a progressive decline.
The reason for this, of course, is not far-fetched; the world is rising above dependency on fossil oil as major source of energy and as nature abhors vacuum, global attention is shifted to alternative source of energy to avoid been caught up in the imminent revolution.
However, Nigeria as an oil producing country does not only depend on the exportation of oil as a major source of revenue but imports refined petroleum products for domestic consumption.
This ugly development trend places Nigeria in a state of sordid reality in the global paradi shift.
In line with this global revolution in the oil and gas industry, pundits have continued to raise questions on its implications for the development of the Nigerian oil sector; will Nigeria key into the revolution having remained the only country in the world that will eventually be left behind, when fossil oil cease to be the major energy source?
Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board, Engr. SimbiWabote, however provided answers to this niggling question, while addressing a session of experts in the oil and gas sector, at a content development exhibition workshop organised in Port Harcourt, recently.
The workshop which was jointly organised by the Port Harcourt Branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, and the Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board was according to the executive secretary a platform to brainstorm on the way forward for the Nigeria oil and gas industry and the wider economy.
Engr. Wabote, noted that the dismal level of Nigeria to the tune of a paltry five per cent made Nigeria to focus mainly on oil revenue in the past, resulting in foreign based procurement and estimated capital flight of about $380bn in 50 years, with over two million jobs specifically lost in the Niger Delta region.
According major consequence according to him was the narrative and global portrayal of Nigeria as a consuming economy.
However he pointed out that “the issuance of the 16 and 23 directives in 2005 and 2006 respectively, to drive local content raised the local content consciousness in the oil and gas industry but the imperative was centred on best endeavour basis thereby stunting the anticipated prospect of development”.
The directives subsequently received legal backing for an all-encompassing framework of Nigeria content development, when the Nigeria oil and gas industry content development act, was enacted in 2010.
Under the act, the Nigeria content development and monitoring Board’s mandate was broadly classified into two key areas; to develop capacity of local supply chain for effective and efficient service delivery to the oil and gas industry, without compromising standards, and to implement and enforce the provisions of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010.
In course of actualising its statutory mandate, the executive secretary, said, “we have been consistent in promoting the development and enforcement of local content implementation in the oil and gas sector and have recorded some key achievements.
He pointed out that before the Act; “we had annual spend of $20bn with little or nothing retained in-country, Today I can confidently say that we spend $5bn in the country, every year. We targeted four pipe mills, but today we have two World-class pipe mills and five impressive coating yards. Before 2010 only three per cent of marine vessels were Nigerian owned today, Nigerians control and own 36 per cent of vessels that are used in the oil and gas industry”.
The executive secretary further explained that Nigeria can presently handle fabrication capacity of more than 60,000 tonnes, while all cables required in the oil and gas sector are all “manufactured in Nigeria, adding that manufacturing of bolts, nuts and flanges fully certified to the required oil and gas industry standard for onshore and offshore projects are now being carried out in the country”.
Other achievements recorded by the board in the same direction, according to the executive secretary, include; “the creation of 35,000 jobs and the assembly of offshore Christmas trees, in-country at the FMC Technip assembly plant in Onne and the GE assembly plants in Onne and Calabar, development of new infrastructure for integration of FPSO’s on the back of Egina project, with a production capacity of 200.000 bbl/day and holding capacity for 2.3 million barrel of oil”. With these achievements, he said the board has moved the in-country value retention from less than five per cent before the act to the current 26% level.
As part of measure of achieving local content development, the executive secretary stated that, “the board was supporting indigenous companies venturing into Deep Water offshore projects and operations, as well as collaborating with investors or business organisations, such as Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and other business organisations to establish a dry dock facility in the Niger Delta region to cater for the maintenance of big vessels, including LNG carriers”.
Engr. Wabote added that the Federal Government was promoting a domestic gas utilisation programme to encourage use of cooking gas and thereby discourage the use of kerosene, firewood and charcoal, to enhance a cleaner and healthier environment in the country.
Similarly to the gas utilisation programme, he said “CNG ulilisation is another initiative being pursued by the Federal Government to achieve its Gas revolution and utilize the huge gas reserves of 180TCF under the oil gas industry roadmap also known as seven big wins laundered by President MohammaduBuhari in October last year.
With the glimmer of economic hope presented by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB), Nigerians are of the view that the gains so far made be consolidated especially in the diverfication of the oil and gas industry.
With an estimated number of 10 million vehicles in the country and less than 10,000 running on CNG and the frittering of over five trillion naira on buying of fuel by over eight million Nigerians depending on generators, a fuel swift to gas utilisation promises a rosy economic future for the country.
An expert in the petroleum industry, Prof. Ogbonna Joel, believes that only through effective diversification of the oil and gas industry can the objective of the Nigeria oil and gas, content development Act be achieved. Speaking in an interview with The Tide, Prof. Ogbonna, urged the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) to support indigenous companies and local enterpreneurs to boost their capacity to contribute to national growth, such synergy, he pointed out would promote local based technology and make Nigeria key into the global technological revolution.
Also commenting on the prospect of the Nigeria content development, an Environmental Sociologist, Dr. Steve Wodu, said. The federal Government should put in place proper regulatory framework for the implementation of the Content Development Act.
He said the allegations making the rounds of purported plans by the Nigeria Content Development Board (NCDMB) to move its operational base from the Niger Delta was an ominous sign, and urged the board to be focused on the implementation of its mandates.
It could be recalled that barely one week after it jointly organised a 3-day content development and exhibition workshop with the Port Harcourt Branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) in Port Harcourt, the operational headquarters of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Boards NCDMB in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State was shut down by members of the Ijaw youth Council (IYC).
The reasons advanced by the protecting youths is that the Board has opened new operational offices in Lagos and Abuja, a decision they said was contrary to the provisions of the Nigeria Content Act.
Tari Porri who led the protest said the move to open news offices of the board in Abuja and Lagos contravened section 71, sub-section 3 of the NCDMB laws, which stipulate that the Board offices should only be established in oil and gas producing areas.
The recent shut down of its activities by the protesting Ijaw youths is no doubt a litmus test for the board to assert itself in the pursuit of its statutory objectives.
11m Benefitted From $415m World Bank Supported CSDP – FG
The Federal Government has disclosed that 11 million Nigerians benefited from $415 million World Bank-supported Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) programme.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Umar Farouq, disclosed this in an opening address during the close out ceremony of the CSDP programme.
According to Farouq, 11 million direct beneficiaries with an estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries across 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were reached between 2009 and 2021 when the CSDP programme was being implemented.
She also described the project as highly successful and highlighted sectors the project focused on including health, education, transportation, electrification, community housing, and others.
She said: “The Project became effective in 2009, has had two additional financing, all totaling USD415 million. In its over 11 years of existence, the CSDP has evolved into one of the strong pillars for the implementation of the Social Protection Programmes of the Federal Government under the supervision of my Ministry through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO).
“The CSDP operates with the core principle of Community Driven Development (CDD) Approach. This is a development paradigm that focuses on the needs of the poor and vulnerable and empowering them with development resources to address their peculiar needs.
“Using this unique approach, the CSDP has implemented micro projects in poor communities across the 543 Local Government Areas of 29 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
“This represents about 70 per cent of the total number of Local Governments in Nigeria. The poor communities are identified specifically through the use of Poverty Maps agreed to by each participating State and FCT.
“The Project has made substantial impact on improving access of the poor and vulnerable to social and natural resources infrastructure across the benefiting communities. The total number of beneficiaries of CSDP stands at 11 million direct beneficiaries across the 29 states, with estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries.
“Specifically, the CSDP has achieved the following: Successful completion of 16,166 micro-projects in 5,664 communities and 934 vulnerable groups. These micro-projects cut across eight sectors of intervention namely education, health, water, transportation, electrification, socio-economic, environment and community housing; 5,764 classrooms, 1,323 health centres and 4,442 water micro projects were constructed and or rehabilitated.
Cooking Gas Use Campaign Begins In 12 States
The Federal Government in collaboration with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme has kicked off the national sensitisation and awareness campaign for the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in Nigeria beginning with 12 pilot states.
The states include Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Gombe, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, Bayelsa, Lagos, Ogun, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory.
The government said the campaign to ensure increased usage of LPG, popularly called cooking gas, was in line with its ‘Decade of Gas’ initiative, adding that its socioeconomic and health benefits far outweighed the use of kerosene and firewood.
Speaking at the inaugural campaign in Abuja, Tuesday the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said there was no excuse for Nigeria not to be able to develop its gas sector considering the huge gas reserves in-country.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Plan, Office of the Vice President, Dayo Adeshina, said the use of LPG would help in cutting down gas flaring in Nigeria.
He said the government was working to ensure that Nigeria achieved the five million metric tons LPG consumption target, adding that efforts were being made to ensure the provision of cylinders at affordable rates to Nigerians.
“Our gas reserves in this country are enormous and we have every reason to develop the gas sector and ensure that our citizens use LPG,” the Vice President said.
He added, “The use of LPG is good for our health and has better socioeconomic benefits and this is in line with the ‘Decade of Gas’ initiative of government.”
Recently, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said over 120 million Nigerians were experiencing energy poverty despite the huge natural gas resources across the country.
Participants at the awareness campaign also called for adequate penetration of LPG usage in Nigeria, as they pledged to support the government in achieving this target.
Rail Transport Suffers 38% Decline In Q1 2021 – NBS
Rail transportation suffered a 38 per cent, year-on-year average decline in passenger and cargo travel in the first quarter of the year 2021 (Q1’21).
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed this yesterday in its Rail Transport Data for Q1’21, which showed that passenger travel fell by 34.4 per cent, year-on-year, to 424,460 passengers in Q1’21 from 647,055 passengers recorded in Q1’2020.
Similarly, cargo travel fell by 43.13 per cent, year-on-year, to 10,511 tons in Q1’21 from 18,484 recorded in Q1 2020.
The NBS stated: The rail transportation data for Q1 2021 reflected that a total of 424,460 passengers travelled via the rail system in Q1 2021 as against 647,055 passenger recorded in Q1 2020 and 134,817 in Q4 2020 representing -34.40 per cent decline year-on-year and +214.84 per cent growth QoQ respectively.
“Similarly, a total of 10,511 tons of volume of goods/cargo travelled via the rail system in Q1 2021 as against 18,484 recorded in Q1 2020 and 35,736 in Q4 2020 representing -43.13 per cent decline year-on-year and -70.59 per cent decline QoQ respectively.
Revenue generated from passengers in Q1 2021 was put at N892,467,526 as against N398,999,290 in Q4 2020.
Similarly,revenue generated from goods/cargo in Q1 2021 was put at N26.19 million as against N82.57 million in Q4 2020.
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