ABUJA _ The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), have resolved to expand the frontiers of their partnership towards the development of local capacity and employment creation in the oil and gas industry.
The management of NCDMB led the Executive Secretary, Mr. Ernest Nwapa, and his PTDF counterpart, Mr. Muttaqha Rabe Darma, met in Abuja on Thursday, and agreed to set up a joint committee to work on specific areas critical to the mandate of the organisations and especially for the development of the industry.
He noted that working closely with other ministries, departments and agencies is the only way the aspiration of the Federal Government to use Nigerian Content Act, to promote the development and utilisation of local capacity, create employment for Nigerians in the industry and drive the development of other sectors of the economy will be realised.
According to Nwapa, the collaboration between NCDMB and PTDF will be fully manifest in the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Committee (NOGIC) Joint Qualification System to be set up by the Board.
He said the NOGIC JQS will be an industry database of all available capacities, with details of contractors’ capacities and capabilities and national skills pool, adding that it will also promote capacity building and monitoring compliance to the Nigerian Content in the operations of oil companies and their contractors.
Nwapa gave the assurance that the effective implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, will ensure that such products and other qualified Nigerians get employed in the oil and gas industry.
He noted that the Board’s efforts are geared towards ensuring the domiciliation of more industry work and spend in Nigeria, adding that indigenous service companies will be expected to take advantage of the Act to grow their capacity and employ more Nigerians.
He insisted that government is not seeking to drive the multinational service companies out of the industry, clarifying that the Nigerian Content Act demands that the companies become more Nigerian in their ownership structure and domicile a proportion of their assets in Nigeria.
On his part, Darma said the Fund believed that collaborating with the NCDMB will help realise the aspirations of government for the sector.
He regretted that PTDF had over the years developed the capacity of thousands of Nigerians who could perform key roles in the industry, but were not being utilised by operators and service companies.
The PTDF boss admitted that his agency did not have legal backing to enforce Nigerian Content or create employment for its graduates, and therefore required the Board’s intervention in that regard.
In her presentation, the General Manager, Nigerian Content, PTDF, Mrs. Habiba Wakil, explained that PTDF had trained 1,649 Nigerians in its Engineering Design Training Programmme, 464 in PDMS, 784 in HYSYS, 201 PIPENET and 200 FLARENET.
She said the Fund planned to train additional 1000 persons, but had to suspend the programme because it could not secure attachment placements for most of them.