The implementation of the Nigerian Content programme in the oil and gas industry has attracted Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) worth over $500 million in the manufacturing of equipment components for the industry within the last 30 months, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has said.
Speaking at the Practical Nigerian Content conference, which ended Wednesday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the minister stated that the equipment components' manufacturing initiative of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) was an effective way to drive industrialisation of the Nigerian economy.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa, said the initiative had already created over 1000 skilled jobs in Nigeria.
According to her, the programme mandates original equipment manufacturers to partner with their representatives to set up facilities to manufacture or assemble equipment components in Nigeria.
She said the initiative would also ensure the retention of the industry expenditure within the Nigerian economy on critical industry equipment such as valves, pumps, electrical and instrumentation products.
She expressed confidence that the initiative would ensure that about 30 original equipment manufacturers set up fully in Nigeria within the next five years.
"Nigerians now own land, swamp, jack up rigs and some proportion of deep offshore rigs. More Nigerians are acquiring Anchor Handling Tugs, Dynamic Positioning Platform Vessels, Line Handling Tugs and other larger vessels otherwise called category two vessels," she said.
She further directed the NCDMB to lead the oil industry to establish vessel and rig maintenance facilities so that the Nigerian economy would realise maximum economic benefits from asset ownership.
Speaking during the programme, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Ernest Nwapa, explained that service companies would now be required to submit a pupilage programme, committing to employ Nigerians as a precondition for participation in tenders.
"To qualify to play in the industry, you must demonstrate that you are running an employment programme.
Companies will employ young Nigerians and put them through pupilage before the contracts are awarded, so they can work when the contract is awarded," he said.
Declaring the conference closed, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd) charged oil companies in operating in Bayelsa to establish base in the state so as to speed up the development of the state.