By Modupe Gbadeyanka
In a bid to galvanise collaboration with key stakeholders and ensure broad compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has organized a workshop with the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ).
The Board also held a separate workshop with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other aviation stakeholders.
The workshop with NEPZA and LFTZ was held in Lagos recently, with the intent to create a modality for effective monitoring of expatriates deployed by oil and gas companies operating in free trade zones.
Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, delivered the keynote address and underscored that Nigerian Content does not encourage Nigerianisation of the industry but promotes the domestication and domiciliation of value adding activities.
According to him, Nigerian Content implementation led to the establishment of two pipe mills in the country, five pipe coating plants, mega fabrication yards, engineering design houses and created over 30,000 direct jobs, with over 6 million training man-hours among other numerous achievements.
He added that the Board’s efforts also made significant impact in the free zones like the establishment of the SHI-MCI yard in LADOL and major fabrication projects executed at the Nigerdock FZE. He underlined that “it is crucial for NCDMB, NEPZA and LFTZ to fashion out a suitable framework for managing expatriate deployment in the free zones to ensure that we achieve the full aspirations of government and enhance capacity utilization of oil and gas facilities within and outside the free zones.”
Mr Wabote affirmed that a framework will be developed to capture the approval process for expatriates deployed by such oil and gas facilities, outline a hitch free process to grant the Board access to free zones in other to conduct statutory performance reviews and assessment visits to oil and gas facilities and outline actions to encourage oil and gas companies to set up free zones.
In his remarks, Managing Director of NEPZA represented by the General Manager, Private Zones, Mr Muazu Mohammed Ruma, commended the Board for the initiative, assuring that NEPZA was ready to collaborate with the Board in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act.
At a similar workshop with aviation stakeholders, the Board charged them to kick start the process of forming the Aviation Sectorial Working Group, which would operate as a member of the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF), so they could address specific issues relating to their sector, especially with respect to capacity development and harnessing of opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The group would also utilize the NCCF platform to develop action plans, timelines and strategy that would advance the aviation subsector of the oil and gas industry.
He listed compliance issues in aviation subsector to include expatriates deployment offshore and Nigerianisation of overdue expatriate positions by aviation companies
The Director, Planning, Research and Statistics Division, NCDMB, Mr Patrick Obah, who represented the Executive Secretary, also charged the aviation stakeholders to submit a proposal that would enable the Board to carry out categorization of players in the aviation service sector. Such categorization, he said, would ensure that companies that demonstrate local capacity and Nigerian Content Compliance are given first consideration in oil and gas opportunities.
The Director General of NCAA, represented by the Director General Aviation, Captain Ayodele Sasegbon thanked the Board for seeking to synergize with the aviation sector and promised the support of the agency towards development of the oil and gas industry. Major aviation companies participated in the workshop and they included Bristow Helicopters, Caverton Helicopters, Atlantic Aviation, Flying Doctors, Aero contractors, Heliserve, Taucan Aviation, Tropical Artics Logistics, Arik Air, Glory Airline Services and Anap Jets.
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