By Sebastine Obasi
The Federal Government is to cut the contracting cycle in the Nigerian oil and gas industry from its current stretch of between two to four years to just six months, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
The minister stated this at the stakeholders interactive workshop on Nigerian Content Policy organised by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) in Calabar, Cross River State.
He identified the long contracting cycle as a major contributor to the high cost per barrel of Nigerian crude oil compared to other OPEC member countries, listing other challenges to include multiplicity of bidders, application of manual tools in bid evaluation and divergent tender requirements by approving entities such as the NCDMB, NAPIMS and the IOCs.
The minister who was represented by the Group General Manager, NAPIMS, Mr. Dafe Sejebor, stated that the contract approving entities were already implementing his charge to strategise and develop a single contracting procedure which will soon be issued to the industry.
He confirmed plans to categorise companies that have invested heavily in the economy and become local content champions for specific work scopes in a way that will facilitate contract opportunities.
These measures, he said, would enhance transparency and further boost investor confidence.
Noting that a good number of Nigerians had been motivated by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD, Act to acquire high cost marine vessels and oil rigs, the minister assured that the Act’s provision of first consideration for Nigerian owned assets shall always apply in tenders related to utilization of rigs or marine vessels.