The federal government through the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and oil companies operating in Nigeria under the aegis of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), have signed a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to reduce the long contracting cycle, which had hindered investments in Nigeria's oil and gas industry.
Under the SLA signed in Lagos wednesday, the 28-member OPTS companies will comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, by submitting to the NCDMB, documents like their quarterly job forecasts, Nigerian Content plans, bidders Lists, Nigerian Content evaluation criteria, Nigerian Content technical bids and other relevant information in relation to industry contracting and procurement cycles.
On its part, the NCDMB committed to respond to specific timelines and should it fail to meet the set deadlines, the oil companies can proceed with their tendering processes after duly informing the agency.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, signed on behalf of the agency, while the Managing Director of ExxonMobil Nigeria, Mr. Paul McGrath, signed on behalf of the OPTS in the event witnessed by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Mr. Massimo Insulla; Managing Director of Chevron, Mr. Jeff Ewing and the Managing Director of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria, Mr. Nicolas Terraz.
The SLA with the OPTS is sequel to the one entered between the board and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) in May 2017, which was the first between a regulator and another entity in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Speaking at the event, Wabote explained that the SLA with the OPTS was in furtherance of the Board's efforts to meet the target set by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, for the industry contracting cycle to be shortened to six months.
He noted that through the efforts of the NCDMB, the cycle had been reduced significantly to 14 months from 24-36 months.
Wabote stressed that operations of the oil and gas industry were time sensitive, adding that a shortened contracting cycle would cut the cost of projects considerably.
He noted that the SLA signed with the NLNG had improved the turn-around time of approvals between the two establishments, informing that the Board was working to sign a similar agreement with the Indigenous Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG).
In his response, the Managing Director of ExxonMobil thanked the Executive Secretary for the wonderful initiatives he had introduced since assuming office a year and half ago.
He stated that the OPTS members contributed to the development of the SLA, adding that they would ensure compliance.