By GODWIN ORITSE
THE Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has warned against the indiscriminate acquisition of vessels without specification by indigenous ship operators in the oil and gas industry.
Speaking at the christening of ‘ DSV Avianna at the Naval dockyard in Lagos the board Executive Secretary Engr Ernest Nwapa said that the development is giving the board some challenges
Nwapa warned that indigenous companies wishing to benefit from the opportunities must exercise diligence to ensure that vessels being procured meet the requirements.
He sttaed that the Federal Government through the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board will not permit a situation Nigerians that invest in marine vessels that meet set technical requirements stay without work while foreign owned vessels are engaged in the industry.
“It is therefore imperative that assets procured by Nigerians in this way must be put to work so as to guarantee the viability of the investments. Anything less than this will not only kill the Nigerian companies which are exposed to the loans but also threaten the local banks that funded the assets”. Nwapa stated
He noted that there has been an unprecedented interest from Nigerian banks seeking to understand the opportunities and participate in marine vessel financing adding that there is evidence that Nigerian banks have participated in funding over 1bn dollar assets in this short period.
He explained that at the practical level, the government must address the fact the vessels so acquired by Nigerian are actually owned by Nigerians, and ensure that they are engaged with contract that will optimize employment for Nigerians and keep money earned in the Nigerian economy.
Accoprding to the Executive Secretry of the board government will also ensure that the vessels are continuously be maintained in Nigeria just as the the issue of Temporary import permit is being looked into in such a way that it will benefit Nigerian businesses at the end of the day.
In order to address these posers, the Board has requested all the indigenous vessel owners to upload their details onto the Nigerian Content Joint Qualification System.
“Having done this, we are now in the process of verifying the authenticity of these claims before further categorizing marine vessel owners in line with marine vessel strategy”.