The national executives of the Petroleum and the Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and their counterparts – Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) – have pledged to collaborate with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on local content development in the oil and gas industry.
The unions made the commitment during a visit to the NCDMB headquarters in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
PENGASSAN National Chairman Comrade Francis Johnson commended the Board’s effort to 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 urged the Board to prevent portfolio firms from grabbing the contracts, which would help to build and deepen the Nigerian content in the sector.
On the Board’s headquarters construction, the PENGASSAN chief described the project as laudable. He said: “On behalf of PENGASSAN/NUPENG, I want to commend NCDMB for this project and I hope it will be completed soonest as we will be here to be a part of the official commissioning.”
The Board’s Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, denied that the Board awards contracts. He reiterated that the NOGICD Act 2010 mandates the Board to review and approve the Nigerian Content plan and issue compliance certificates to firms adhering to the Law.
“Contrary to the widespread belief that NCDMB awards contracts, let me categorically say the Board is mandated to review, assess and approve Nigerian Content plans developed by operators. We issue certificate of authorisation for projects that comply with Nigerian Content provisions,” Wabote said.
Wabote highlighted the structure and operations of the Board and how both unions could enhance local content. He explained that the Nigerian Content is not about Nigerianisation but rather domestication and domiciliation of value-adding activities in-country.
He said the Board’s efforts since the enactment of the Act had yielded tangible benefits, citing 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 floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), as some of them.
The NCDMB boss said the major challenges of the Board include infrastructure for the movement of materials, inter-agency collaboration, policy consistency and attraction of investors to set-up manufacturing outfit locally.
Wabote called for the Unions’ support for the Board. He disclosed the agency’s readiness to collaborate with the union.
NUPENG Chairman Comrade Williams Akporeha said their collaboration with the Board would be total. He noted that they were happy with the Board’s achievemnets. He, however, suggested that NCDMB woud introduce periodic consultative forum with the unions to boost Nigerian content practice.
Akporeha said the Board has a 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