With huge population, high return on investment, reforms, Nigeria remains a great investment destination — CEO/Principal Consultant,
THE Nigerian Oil and Gas Fair, NOGOF, which took place in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state in April, 2019, was the brainchild of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB. In this interview with UDEME AKPAN, Mrs Funmi Ogbue, CEO/Principal Consultant, JAKE RILEY Limited, looks back at the event, its impact on local content in particular and economy of the nation in general.
Why was it expedient to organise NOGOF 2019 and what were the highlights?
Generally, the event was put together to expand and deepen Local Content in the nation’s oil and gas industry as well as expose the numerous opportunities to indigenous and other investors. NOGOF 2019 started on Wed, 3rd of April 2019 with pre-registration and a welcome barbecue at the Pond Park, Royal Tulip Castle Hotel (Government House).
On the 4th of April, we started the Fair at 9am at the new Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board Headquarters, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, where the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachickwu gave the keynote address, and His Excellency, Governor of Bayelsa state, Dr Seriake Dickson delivered a special address. There were many presentations, including papers by Dr Makainti Baru, the GMD of NNPC and others.
Can you comment on the contents of NOGOF 2019?
NOGOF 2019 was designed to have a nice blend of hard and soft issues. Companies presented project opportunities, technical sessions, which addressed pertinent issues and importantly, awards were given to recognize companies that have contributed to the development of Local Content at the Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony. We are also pleased to state that, this was a conference like no-other.
How did that impacted on participants and exhibitors?
The NOGOF agenda included technical and opportunity sessions from various stakeholders. All delegates were given a complimentary copy of the Compendium of Nigerian Content Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry 2019. Potential benefits of NOGOF 2019 were also aligned to the key thrusts of the NOGICD Act 2010, including Integrating oil producing communities into the oil and gas value chain, fostering institutional collaboration, maximizing participation of Nigerians in oil and gas activities, linking oil and gas sector to other sectors of the economy, maximizing utilization of Nigerian resources i.e. goods, services and assets and attracting investments to the industry.
In your opinion, is Nigeria a good place to invest in oil and gas at this time?
Nigeria is one of the top 10 producers of crude oil in the world which has some of the largest reserves of oil and gas. I think Nigeria is a good place to invest, especially as Local content, has made provisions to promote the interest of Nigerians. Also, the NCDMB has a lot of initiatives to drive investment in the industry, especially with the new NCDMB headquarters, the Nigerian Content Plan (NCP) for NLNG’s Train 7 project estimated to cost $1bn, the USD200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) launched to provide funding support to local service companies, amongst other initiatives.
What is unique about Nigeria as an investment destination?
Nigeria is the premier investment destination in Africa. With a population of about 200 million people, excellent return on investment, and with the federal government reforms and drive to grow the economy, significantly increase the ease of doing business, protect and grow investor confidence, we believe Nigeria is unique as an investment location.
Can you comment on some benefits that investors stand to get from investing in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry?
High Return on Investment, strong government support and young workforce that is eager to work and grow. There’s a remarkable implementation of the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (‘Local Content Act’) with the construction of the Egina Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading Unit (‘FPSO’).
In your opinion, has NCDMB done enough to deepen and broaden Local content in the industry?
Since the inception of NCDMB, the board has been committed to promoting and building local capabilities in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. The enforcement of the provisions of the Local content Act, has also led to some key achievements for the board. Some of these include the establishment of fabrication yards, engineering houses, pipe mills, pipeline coating yards, cable manufacturing, and several others too numerous to mention
.The NCDMB has urged investors interested in the manufacturing of gas cylinders, burners, regulators, lighters, or in the provision of other services in the gas value chain, to take advantage of the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, managed by the Bank of Industry, BOI, for the provision of loans to oil and gas service providers.
The NCDMB creates linkages to other sectors of the national economy and boost industry contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, promote the growth of Nigerian Content, increase indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry as well as build local capacity and competencies through the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund.
When do you expect to have another edition and what advice do you have for stakeholders, including exhibitors, participants and investors?
The next edition is slated for April 8-9, 2021. We encourage stakeholders to come prepared to participate fully, take advantage of all the opportunities, network to the fullest and hold tightly onto the complimentary copy of the compendium. We also encourage them to attend all the social activities, enjoy the performance of Flavour and Omawunmi, the NCDMB and Bayelsa hospitality.