Abuja — Oil workers under the auspices of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), and Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), have restated their readiness to monitor the implementation of local content law in the oil and gas sector.
Speaking when the oil workers paid a scheduled visit to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state recently, the National President of PENGASSAN, Francis Johnson appreciated the Board's effort towards the growth and development of the oil sector by encouraging indigenous participation.
He said: "This engagement with the Board is quite revealing, we have learnt a lot about the laudable interventions of NCDMB. There is no better time to work with the Board, we are committed to work with you."Johnson encouraged the Board to continue the good job it is doing and prevent portfolio companies from grabbing contracts, which will help to build and deepen Nigerian content in the sector.
On the Board's headquarters building project, the PENGASSAN boss described the project as remarkable.In his presentation on the structure and operation of the Board, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Wabote urged the union executives to dispel the notion among their members that the Board awards contract in the oil sector. He reiterated that the NOGICD Act 2010 mandates the Board to review and approve the Nigerian Content Plan and issue compliance certificates to companies adhering to the Law.
"Contrary to the widespread believe that NCDMB award contracts, let me categorically say the Board is mandated to review, assess and approve Nigerian Content plans developed by operators. We issue certificate of authorization for projects that comply with Nigerian Content provisions," Wabote said. Wabote further highlighted the structure and operations of the Board and how both unions can enhance Local Content.
He explained that Nigerian Content is not about 'Nigerianization' only, but domestication and domiciliation of value adding activities in-country.He stated that the Board's effort since the enactment of the Act has yielded tangible benefits, notably establishment and upgrade of fabrication yards, pipe coating plants, upstream production managed by indigenous companies, production of low/high voltage cables and partial integration of Egina FPSO among others.
The NCDMB boss mentioned that the major challenges of the Board include infrastructures for the movement of materials, inter-agency collaboration, policy consistency and attraction of risk averse investors to set-up manufacturing outfit locally. Wabote while calling for the Union's support for the Board also disclosed his agency's readiness to collaborate with the union continuously for the benefit of all.
In his remark, the National President of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha stated their collaboration with the Board would be total. He noted that they were happy with the great achievements of the Board.He however suggested that NCDMB should introduce periodic consultative forum with both unions to explore areas of collaboration for effective Nigerian content practice in the industry.
Akporeha noted the Board has major role to play to ensure smooth operations in the oil and gas industry and advised that NCDMB examine international practices on remunerations to employees.