Nigeria: African Petroleum Ministers Meet in Bayelsa, Mull Single Oil, Gas Market

Ministers of Petroleum from African countries yesterday gathered in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital to deliberate on the need to adopt the Nigerian government's local content development model for the sector to increase local participation and wealth creation in the continent.

The event, organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), is the maiden edition of the African Local Content Roundtable (ALCR), held at the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa, and will discuss issues of a possible single market for oil and gas and the establishment of an African development bank to promote local content development in Africa.

The Nigerian minister of state for petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, who commended the NCDMB for initiating the African Roundtable, noted that a pan-African roundtable to institutionalise peer review mechanism among oil-producing countries on local content, is a key development imperative for domestication and sustainable growth of Africa's hydrocarbon resources.

Sylva said the NCDMB was setting a pace as the premier local content regulator in Africa and a worthy example to sister nations that seek guidance to institutionalise local content practices in their jurisdictions.

According to him, "The partnership with APPO is also commendable as it will provide a sustainable structure for driving regional collaboration on local content matters.

"Through implementation of local content, we have achieved significant growth in-country value addition from less than 5 per cent in 2010 to 35 per cent in 2021 and we have set an ambitious target to achieve 70 per cent local content in the oil and gas sector by 2027".

" Nigeria embraced this model by adopting local content as an economic development model for the oil and sector, in view of its abundant hydrocarbon resources estimated at 37 billion barrels of crude oil and 202 TCF of gas reserves".

He told his guests that the nation's local content policy was created in the Nigerian economy by a systematic development of capacity and capabilities, through deliberate utilisation of Nigerian services, human and material resources in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

"Our success story in the oil and gas industry has led to bold step to extend local content to other sectors of the Nigerian economy. As a caring African country, we have also considered it necessary to amplify the benefits of local content to our fellow African countries and that is the essence of the African Local Content Roundtable".

Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said that though investment in local content development is not a charity venture but a systematic investment to promote high per cent ages of indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry, proposing that the African continent is in need for the establishment of an African development bank for local Content.

Wabote, who highlighted the achievements made by Nigeria in the last few years through the implementation of the local content policy, said the percentage of local content participation have been moved from 35 per cent to 70 per cent under his watch, adding that "the local content policy in Nigeria has created indigenous contractors that are capable and strong, and we have local participation in vessels ownership"

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