Nigeria was saved the sum of $2 billion dollars from the ongoing Train 7 of the Nigeria liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) project as a result of using Nigerian firms, says the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote
Wabote, stated this last Friday, shortly after receiving the award of African Local Content Icon, from the African Leadership magazine, in Yenagoa.
The NCDMB Executive Secretary, who dismissed the assertion that the Nigerian content policy was costly, and a ploy by foreign interests who do not wish the country to develop, described the claim as blackmail, because experience had shown that the policy was more cost effective for oil firms.
“The Nigerian content policy saves costs, from the projects that the NCDMB have supervised it is clear that it is better for the International Operating Companies in Nigeria, but foreign interests at global levels erroneously say that local content is expensive.
“Before the move to increase the participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas sector, the participation was at about three per cent and previous administrations relied mostly on taxes and revenue and lost sight of the opportunities for Nigerians to get involved in the sector.
“From the oil sector where I am coming from, it is five times more expensive to pay an expatriate than a Nigerian, so how can they say that local content is more expensive ?
“ On the Train 7 project if you look at the cost provided by foreign companies, you have a wide gap of about $ 2 billion from the quotations of the lowest submitted by foreign firms and the highest from Nigerian companies, so local content is better as we ensured that quality was not compromised.
“From 2010 till now, we have come a long way, for instance NLNG had 90 per cent of the workforce as expatriates, but today 90 per cent of the workers are Nigerians with some even occupying top positions in foreign oil firms.
“I am thankful to President Muhamadu Buhari, who gave me the opportunity to practice local content in the public sector, by appointing me in 2016 and reappointing me in 2020,” Wabote said.
On the African Local Content Icon Award bestowed on him, Wabote said that it came to him as a ‘pleasant surprise’ adding that the ideals of the African Leadership Magazine justified his decision to accept the award.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Editor of the African Leadership Magazine, Mr Kingsley Okeke, noted that the process leading to the selection was transparent and independently conducted with nominations received from across the African continent.
“We found in the accomplishment and achievements of the Executive Secretary of the NCDM, a worthy character we must encourage and export to the rest of Africa.
“Our focus at the magazine is to spotlight the positive developments in the African continent and change the narrative and stereotypes by western media,” he said.
The Tide source reports that the African Local Content Icon Award was presented by Mrs Laura Hall, President-elect of the National Black Caucus in the U.S congress, at the headquarters of the NCDMB in Yenagoa.
Hall said that blacks in the United States, represented by the Black Caucus, also have a similar challenge with building local capacity to compete with their white counterparts in executing contracts in the U.S.
She said the caucus would collaborate and share ideas with the NCDMB on ways to increase the capacities of blacks in the U.S.
NCDMB, Partners To Complete Four Key Gas Projects In Q4
Four major projects being developed by investors in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) would be completed before the end of 2021, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote has disclosed.
The projects include the Rungas facility in Polaku, Bayelsa State that would manufacture 400,000 units of Composite LPG Cylinders per annum and BUNORR production plant in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which would produce 48,000 litres of base oil per day.
The other two projects include NEDO Gas’ 80 million standard cubic feet per day gas processing facility upgrade and expansion, plus 300 million standard cubic feet per day KGG manifold in Delta State, and DUPORT Midstream Ltd’s Energy Park, which comprises 2,500 barrels of crude oil per day modular refinery, 40 million standard cubic feet per day gas processing plant and 2 megawatts power plant.
The Executive Secretary spoke on Thursday in Abuja at the one-day workshop on the “NCDMB Roadmap, A Catalyst for the Industrialisation of Nigeria 2017-2027,” organised by the Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Department of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
He also said that five Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage/bottling plants and six LPG Depots being developed in partnership with Butane Energy Limited in 10 states in the North and Abuja would be completed in two phases – six in quarter 1 of 2022 and the rest in quarter 4 of 2022, with the opportunity to create 1,900 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.
Wabote also hinted that the Board was partnering with the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) to develop a 24 megawatts power plant at Takwa Bay, Lagos State to provide uninterrupted power supply to the free zone which hosts key facilities required to service the oil and gas industry. The project is expected to generate 400 jobs.
According to him, the Board’s partnership investments cut across modular refineries, LPG value chain, and other areas. He stated that that the Board had 23 project sites spread across Abuja, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Delta, Edo, Gombe and Imo State. Other locations include, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Lagos, Nasarawa,Niger Plateau, Rivers, and Zamfara states.
The NCDMB boss explained that the Board committed equity investments into strategic projects that align with Government’s policies with a view to catalysing them to success and would exit once those businesses become successful. The investments were also in line with the Board’s vision “to be a catalyst for the industrialisation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors,” he added.
Commenting on the functions of NCDMB and the Nigerian Content 10-year Strategic Roadmap, Wabote reported that the Board had recorded considerable progress with the implementation of the roadmap and had grown Nigerian Content from 26 percent to 35 percent within four years and was on track to achieve 70 percent by 2027.
On the US$350m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, which provides affordable and accessible credit to qualified oil and gas companies, he described it as one of the most successful funding schemes in the country, hinting that the repayment rate by beneficiaries has been 99 percent.
In his comments, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Nasir Sani Gwarzo lauded NCDMB for its achievements, adding that the Board was on the right trajectory in implementing it mandate and impacting linkage sectors. He charged the Executive Secretary to remain committed to the same trajectory of deepening Local Content implementation
Gov Sule Makes Case For Nation’s Gas Reserves
Nasarawa state Governor Abdullahi Sule said last Thursday that the country’s major challenges and problems could be resolved with its gas reserves.
Sule said this in Abuja at the 6th Triennial Branch Delegates Conference/Award of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), under the theme: “Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) – Prospects for the Nigerian oil and gas industry”.
The governor said Nigeria was a gas country with oil, going by the volume of her gas reserves.
“When I was working for an oil and gas company in the past, we used to categorise Nigeria as among the various nations of oil and gas, we used to see Nigeria as a gas country with oil.
“With over 200 trillion standard cubic feet of gas that we have, Nigeria is indeed a gas country. And for those who understand the industry, if we develop the gas alone, even without the 40 million barrels of oil we have, the gas will be enough to sustain Nigeria.
“All the problems about power, fertiliser, the challenges we have in agriculture will be resolved easily with the gas reserve that we have.
“I want PENGASSAN to promote gas because a lot of countries survived with gas; it’s gas that made Qatar what it is today, not oil.
“So, this is the opportunity we have that we must develop, if we have to survive as a nation,” Sule said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sarki Auwalu, (DPR), who was the chief host of the conference, said the focus on the PIA was to highlight the importance of the law to the oil and gas sector.
Auwalu also said that PIA would overhaul the oil and gas industry and eventually set the country on the path of greatness.
“The theme of this conference is a further testament to the critical role played by the constructive unionism in national development, the petroleum industry in particular.
“You will agree with me that President Muhammadu Buhari achieved a monumental feat in advancing the Nigeria oil and gas industry.
“This was enabled through the signing of the PIB into an Act and this took us 20 years to achieve this legacy; president Buhari deserves an applause.
“In spite of the fact that we are going to net-zero, I believe that the PIA has a focus on the future and we will see how that future will be guaranteed with respect to environmental consciousness.
“I believe that the PIA will guarantee the future of our children and grand children,” Auwalu said.
He called for closer collaboration between PENGASSAN and the DPR, especially as it concerned the implementation of the PIA, for the oil and gas industry to continue to thrive.
President of PENGASSAN, Mr Festus Osifo regretted that the PIB was signed into law by President Buhari with some errors, but noted that it could be subjected to amendments for some of the errors to be removed.
“The only snag we have today is that we channel our energy into production of crude oil reserve; if we continue the way we are today, that is 2 million barrels per day and about 37 million barrels reserve, it will take us years to move forward.
“We should be thinking of how to fast track to ensure that the 2 million production is moved to 3 or 4 million barrels.
“If we don’t do that quickly, we are going to be caught in the trap of energy transition or fall into the web of what happened to our coal. Today, coal is trapped in the ground and nobody is interested”, he said.
Purpose Of Excess Crude Account Defeated – Lawmaker
The Lawmaker representing Degema/Bonny Constituency in the House of Representatives, Farah Dagogo, has said the purpose of establishing the Excess Crude Account(ECA), has been defeated following the announcement by the Federal Government on the country’s Excess Crude Account Balance, showing a depletion.
Dagogo gave this hint in a chat with newsmen, at a recent event in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
According to him, “for clarity, the purpose of the Excess Crude Account that was set up in 2004, which later metamorphosed to Sovereign Wealth Fund in 2011, has been clearly defeated. The three cardinal objectives of ECA was for supporting the budget in times of economic stress, including to hedge against volatile crude oil prices; to save for future generations of Nigerians; to invest in domestic infrastructure; now has any of them being met?”
He noted that the depletion of the funds without tangible explanation was unacceptable, describing the situation as worrisome.
He stressed that, “the answer is a capital no, and it is unacceptable to the people of my region, whom semantically speaking, are the goose that lays the golden eggs that is being pilfered unhindered. I strongly believe that this daylight stealing and mismanagement should be a grave concern and abhorrent to people of good conscience”.
The Lawmaker lamented the depreciating figures and wondered the justification for expending the funds without due consideration for the Niger Delta people from whose region the monies were generated and were wallowing in poor living conditions.
“Today in Nigeria, the cost of living has risen astromically. We were in paradise in 2015 if we were to make a comparative analysis of what was applicable then and now as to what majority of the masses are facing and passing through daily. To feed a day in Nigeria is akin to the dromedary carmel passing through the eye of a needle. Yet, we hear mind boggling depletion of our commonwealth with nothing tangible to show for it”, he added.
It would be recalled that the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clem Agba, during the National Economic Council meeting at the State House in Abuja recently, said that the ECA as at 13th October 2021 stood at $60, 857,773.43, while the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, last Friday quoted the Minister, as saying “Excess Crude Account balance as at 13th October 2021 stands at $60, 857,773.43;
“Stabilisation Account, balance as at 13th October stands at N25,009,892,511.55; Development of Natural Resources Account balance as at 13th October 2021 stands at N56,144,024,000.71”.
By: Tonye Nria-Dappa
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