By Michael Eboh & Prince Okafor
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, expressed concern that the persistent volatility in the price of crude oil is putting immense pressure on the local content initiative of the Federal Government.
Speaking in Bayelsa, at the ongoing 9th Practical Nigerian Content, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, stated that with this reality, it had become expedient, for the Federal Government and stakeholders to raise the bar on the Nigerian content policy.
He said, “The Nigerian Content policy has indeed been a catalyst for the nation’s industrialisation. There is, however, no doubt that the resilience of local content policy is being tested under the present volatility in oil prices experienced in the global oil and gas market. Now is therefore, the time to raise the bar of the Nigerian content policy.”
Identifying the roles played by the NNPC in local content development, Kyari, who was represented by Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services of the NNPC, Mr. Faruk Sa’id, explained that the NNPC had always been at the heart of the local content story in Nigeria in a bid to maximize participation of Nigerians in its projects and domicile project activities in-country.
He added that in this regard, the NNPC had been implementing the Nigerian Content Policy as enshrined in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD).
He said, “As early at 2005, despite almost 50 years of a vibrant national oil industry experience, NNPC was concerned at the low level of Nigerian Content in our country and thus called for a fresh approach to domesticating oil and gas industry spend through the establishment of the Nigerian Content Division (NCD) with the aim of identifying and guiding the implementation of key national content initiatives including promoting local manufacturing of steel plates and pipes and developing engineering design expertise in Nigerian engineers.
“Let me reiterate that as an enabler organization for Nigeria’s economy, we stand to gain more by developing in country capacity. I implore all key stakeholders to join NNPC in encouraging NCDMB to further promote the Nigerian content success story.”
He further stated that the NNPC, in recent years, had permitted the participation of Nigerian companies in several of the businesses across the entire value-chain, such as in crude oil lifting, oil exploration and the Research & Development end of the business.
“As a corporation, we are more than ever poised to promote the development and commercialization of home-grown technology through other areas of our operations,’ he noted.