Owerri — Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has stated that major reason the current Senate must pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIB) after 17 years of its introduction is to enhance exploitation and exploration of petroleum resources in the country for the benefit of Nigerians.
The Senate President, who spoke in Owerri, Imo State during the opening ceremony of the 2nd edition of the Nigerian Content Workshop, noted that when the bill is signed into law, it would also promote the development of Nigerian content in the oil industry and encourage investment in Nigerian petroleum industry.
Saraki, who was represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Senator Tayo Alasoadura, pointed out that the bill, which was split into four parts and gave the Green light that the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and Petroleum Host Community Bill have all gone through second reading, would also be fast tracked for their passage.
He maintained that high interest in Nigeria's oil and gas sector had brought to the fore certain critical issues including local content, which required the enactment of National Oil and Gas Development Content (NOGDC) in 2010. He added that the local content policy was geared towards a gradual and comprehensive integration of Nigerian citizens into all aspects of the oil and gas industry to ensure the benefits of the industry are maximized for Nigerians through education, skills and expertise development.
According to him, there is no doubt that the ultimate objective of any oil production country is to control and operate all phases of it industry, as it will translate to massive reduction in unemployment and ensure rapid development arising from increased revenue to the governments' treasury as a result of local production.
Describing the theme of the three-day workshop "Maximizing the Nigerian Content Policy for Sustainable Business Growth and National Development" as a commendable one because of its importance in ensuring increased indigenous production quota in the oil and gas sector while maintaining sound business ethics, he also challenged participants to see that its objective found solutions to the challenges impending the smooth implementation of the Nigerian content policy.
He assured that the National Assembly would always give support to the development of the oil and gas sector and position it for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Enumerating the objectives of the workshop, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote said it was to create sufficient awareness and interest in the local content regime amongst various stakeholders, to cultivate a healthy relationship with stakeholders as strategic partners, to demonstrate the economic benefits of local content implementation in the industry, and to galvanize stakeholders to partner with the Board in the monitoring of local content performance and compliance by oil and gas companies.
He stated that the 10-year Transformation Road map of the Board was aimed to be the catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors as well as increase local content level in the oil and gas industry from 26 percent to 70 percent by 2027 to double the value domiciled in the Nigerian oil and gas industry by 2027.