By Clara NWACHUKWU
Some indigenous operators have scored the implementation of the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act 2010, high.
The operators, who took turns to give their assessment of the implementation provisions of the law, said many indigenous companies have recorded significant growth since the Act came into effect.
At the recent NOG 2012 conference in Abuja, while the international oil companies, IOCs, spoke about their Nigerian content development programmes, citing specific projects with high level content, the indigenous operators looked at the implementation based on the growth of the indigenous sector.
IOCs content development
Underscoring the success of Shell companies in local content development, its General Manager, Local Content, Mr. Igo Weli, said the Anglo-Dutch company is constantly engaged in a number of activities to promote content development.
He said that such activities are based on the premise that “Nigerian Content development is the pivot for industrial and economic growth and stability.”
Others present at the Local Content Measurement: Challenges and Sustainability seminar, which was chaired by the Executive Director, Total E&P Nigeria, Dr. Kingsley Ojoh, also included, the General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, Chevron Nigeria, Mr. Raymond Wilcox; and the Sustainability Coordinator, Saipem Contracting Nigeria, Ms. Joy Oserohwovo, who said her company had spent up to $9.2billion training local employees.
Each of them took turns to say how much of content development and value addition their respective companies have brought into the industry for overall economic growth.
Indigenous operator’s perspective
Some of the indigenous operators who debated on the subject agreed that the Content Act is the pivot for their recent growth in the industry.
The Technical Director, ERHC Energy, Mr. Adebanji Babarinde, said, “ERHC attained its current levels of success because of the Nigerian Content Act. The law gave local entrepreneurs the confidence to go into areas hitherto monopolised by multinationals.”
On his part, the Development Manager, Delta Afrik, noted that over 700 Nigerians are engaged in various industry projects being handled by the company. “This is due to functional partnership among government agencies, the IOCs and service companies.”
But looking at the challenges impeding indigenous growth in the sector, the Sales/Marketing Manager Aker Solutions, Mr. Anthony Okolo, urged government to reduce the contract approving cycle for projects.
“If a company takes about two to five years to utilise a local content programme, the company will die off before the next contract comes in.”