By Udeme Akpan
ENGR. Simbi K. Wabote was appointed as the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, by President Muhammadu Buhari on September 29, 2016.
Due to his excellent performance during the first tenure, he was reappointed for a second term by Mr President on September 25, 2020.
The NCDMB was established in 2010 by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD, Act and vested with the mandate to make procedures that will guide, monitor, coordinate and implement provisions of the NOGICD Act signed into law on April 22, 2010.
Specifically, NCDMB was established to review, assess and approve Nigerian Content plans developed by operators, set guidelines and minimum content levels for project-related activities across the oil and gas value chain, engage in targeted capacity-building interventions that would deepen indigenous capabilities – human capital development, infrastructure and facilities, manufactured materials and local supplier development, as well as grow and manage the Nigerian Content Development Fund.
The Board is also charged with establishing, maintaining and operating the Joint Qualification System, NOGICJQS, in conjunction with industry stakeholders, and monitoring Nigerian Content Compliance by operators and service providers.
This will be in terms of cumulative spending, employment creation and sources of local goods, services and materials utilised on projects and operations.
It is empowered to award certificate of authorisation for projects that comply with Nigerian Content provisions and conduct studies, research, investigation, workshops and training aimed at advancing the development of Nigerian Content.
Under his watch, NCDMB catalysed the successful integration of one of the largest Floating Production Storage and Offloading, FPSO, in-country at the SHI-MCI yard in the LADOL Free Trade Zone and facilitated in-country integration of six modules on the Egina FPSO, the first time in the entire Gulf of Guinea.
He facilitated speedy approvals for the US$12bn NLNG Train 7 project and the signing of the contract in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, to create 12,000 jobs and domicile 55 per cent of the project in-country.
Engr. Wabote also introduced key signature events into the oil and gas industry calendar such as the bi-annual Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair, NOGOF, and the Nigerian Research and Development Fair, R&D Fair, to showcase the oil industry’s opportunities for investment and galvanise research capabilities respectively.
He has also used the annual Practical Nigeria Content conference and exhibition to set the agenda for the industry.
He championed NCDMB’s equity investment in four modular refineries – Waltersmith’s 5000 barrels per day facility, Azikel Petroleum’s 12,000barrels per day Hydroskimming Modular refinery, Atlantic International Refinery’s 2000 barrels plants and Duport Midstream’s 2,500bpd modular refinery.
He has spearheaded other strategic capacity development initiatives in the hydrocarbon value-chain in line with the Board’s vision to serve as a catalyst for the industrialisation of the Nigerian oil and gas sector. Some of these included the Board’s investment in Brass Fertiliser, NCDMB Gas Hub at Polaku and Rungas’ composite gas cylinder manufacturing facility.
He also championed the board’s enterprise development programmes, notably Project 100, Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology, NOGTECH, Hackathon and the Science and Technology Innovation Challenge, STIC.
Engr. Wabote holds an MSc from Leeds Metropolitan University and is a graduate of Civil Engineering from Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt as well as a graduate of INSEAD Group Leadership Programme. He has very sound technical and business competencies with proficient skills in Engineering, Project Management, Local Content Strategic Development, Human Capacity Building, Government Relations, and Stakeholders Management.
He is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and a COREN registered engineer and a member Institute of Civil Engineers London. Born February 2, 1966, Engr. Wabote is from Bayelsa State. He is married to Sotonye and they have three lovely daughters. Indeed, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, deserves to be the Vanguard 2020 Regulator of the Year.