NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has tasked Nigerian Content Development Management Board, NCDMB, on strict implementation of the National Content Act 2010, in the oil and gas industry to achieve its objective of among others, generating jobs for Nigeria.
President of NUPENG, IgweAchese, at the PENGASSAN/ NCDMB chapter roundtable discussion in Yenegoa, Beyalsa State, listed features of the Act to include Nigerians being given first consideration for employment and training, succession plans for positions not held by Nigerians, maximum of five percent of management positions for expatriates and that Nigerians must constitute a minimum of 60 percent of the Board.
Speaking on the theme: “Building synergy with trade unions to optimize value creation in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria – Benefits and Challenges of implementing NOGICD Act 2010,” Achese lamented that the NCDMB had not really lived up to expectation as a monitoring body for local content.
He called for the inclusion of the two unions (NUPENG and PENGASSAN) in the oil and gas sector as members of the Board, saying, “The establishment of the Nigerian Content Monitoring Board is to monitor the achievement of local content in the oil and gas industry.
But the NCDMB has not really lived up to expectation, as a monitoring body for local content. In the Act, it states that an operator must submit Nigerian Content Performance report which would be verified by the Board. It adds that “First consideration to be given to Nigerian goods and services. Bidding process for procurement of goods and services shall give full and fair opportunity to Nigerian indigenous companies.
“We make bold to say that most of the companies currently involved in local content are actually owned by foreigners who use Nigerians as fronts.
Even where we have firms owned by Nigerians in the spirit of the local content arrangement, especially in the drilling sub-sector, contracts are awarded to foreign firms or to companies which have no rigs. Where local companies are awarded some contracts, their workers are out sourced to service providers and casualised and paid pittance as wages. In most cases, the local companies are averse to unionism. This is not in the spirit and letter of the National Content Act signed into law on 22nd April, 2010. The NCDMB must wake up to its responsibilities to enforce, impose sanctions and do enough monitoring.
“The NCDMB must monitor effectively that the key provisions in the Act are adhered to, like Nigerians being given first consideration for employment and training, succession plans for positions not held by Nigerians, maximum of 5 percent of management positions for expatriates and that Nigerians must constitute a minimum of 60 percent of the Board.
“The whole essence is to generate local capacity and utilization of the technology and use the products that are domiciled in the country, instead of relying on these things from abroad, which constitute a drain on our foreign exchange. This will go a long way to stimulate economic activities in the country, create employment and promote technology transfer. The end result is the use of Nigerian human and material resources which is a chain in the service delivery system.
It is against this backdrop that the Roundtable discussion on perspectives on local content value addition in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria is therefore very auspicious.”
According to him, “In fairness, a lot of activities are going on in the area of fabrication with the use of local content and local manpower. This area has really helped in employment generation, but a lot still need to be done.