Unlike other policies in the oil and gas sector of the economy, the implementation of the Nigerian local content policy of President Goodluck Jonathan is setting new pace in the creation of local players and economic activities, including the proposed $150 million oil and gas industrial parks.
The proposed park, with the capacity to create oil and gas manufacturing companies in the chosen states of the Niger Delta region, is set to kick-start its first phase, with $10 million in terms of training of about 47 youths and zonal coordinators from the zone and the setting up of a self-growing organic system for businesses and investments.
Unveiling the newly trained-youths at the Aridolf Hotels and Events Centre, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the director of Finance and Personnel Management of the Nigerian Content, Monitoring and Development Board (NCMDB), Engr. Ita Anyone, said the 47 youths selected and trained by the board are expected to participate in the proposed increase in local capacity building and utilization of local facilities.
In the unveiled plan for the proposed oil and gas industrial parks, the facilities will be located in three zones including Akwa Ibom/Cross River zone located along the Calabar industrial layout, the Imo/Abia zone located at Oguta community with 25 hectares of land provided for the project.
Also to be served by their oil and gas industrial parks are the Bayelsa/Rivers zone sited in Otuoke community of Ogbia local government area, while another will be located in Ilaje Community of Ondo State.
According to the proposed financing of the project, the Federal Government is expected to enter into partnership with oil multinationals and banks, as the first phase is expected to gulp the sum of $10 million depending on the park’s nature of operations and environment.
The project duration is fixed at 10 years with its structures becoming organic that will grow by itself and operators in the park.
While the representative of the Bayelsa State commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr. David Agonobi, commended the management of the NCMDB of the initiative, the representative of the oil producers trade section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Engr.Sola Ogunsakin described the proposed oil and gas industrial park as a new dawn for the economy of the Niger Delta region.
The OPTS, which is a sub-group within the LCCI and made up of both local and foreign-owned companies registered in Nigeria and hold an Oil Prospecting License or an Oil Mining License, predicted that the proposed park will be a success in the region.
The sub-group, which currently has 18 member-companies made up of the Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Dubri, Addax, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Pan Ocean, Shell, Total, Seplat, Neconde, Nexen, Moni Pulo, Statoil, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, Afren, Sapetro and Oando, declared support for the project.
According to Ogunsakin, “Though the setting up of the park and its operation may not be easy, it will be a thing of success at the end. It will motivate huge domestic and industrial activity and attract huge employment opportunities.”
Earlier in his speech, the executive secretary of the NCMDB, Engr. Ernest Nwapa, explained that the concept of an oil and gas industrial park in the Niger Delta region is part of the vision of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to take the region away from its present state into a new economic boom.
Nwapa said, “The proposed oil and gas industrial park is not just about buildings. The project will develop a new direction and create more businesses in the region. The park will generate small and large businesses. It will also provide opportunity for research and development. We have mapped out the project not to become another white elephant projects.”
A check through the past achievements of the local content policy of the Jonathan-led administration, under the watch of the NCMDB showed that it has ensured the escalation of the historic use of made-in-Nigeria pipelines by Exxon Mobil recently at its Edop-Idoho Offshore field, secured the placement of over 100 kilometres of pipelines orders in Nigeria’s only pipe manufacturing company, SCC Abuja.
Continuing, the NCMDB boss said, “It has ensured the increase of in-country fabrication tonnage from 1,000,000 in 2009 to 1,200,000 currently, advanced talks with Jiangsu Yulong of China to establish 250,000 tons per annum LSAW pipe mill in Nigeria, initiated the establishment of deep water port in a major upcoming project, developed the Nigerian oil and gas employment and training strategy, which has resulted in the absorption of over 5000 engineers, geologists, welders and other skill sets into the industry and formed the basis of a national skill database.
“The Nigerian Content activities have already generated over 30,000 direct and indirect jobs and will surpass 300,000 within the next four years. NCMDB has designed and launched the Nigerian Content Joint Qualification Standards, an electronic platform for the Board’s implementation of the NOGIC Act, especially its capacity Building & Monitoring functions.
“It has led to the establishment of the Nigerian Content Development Fund, to be used for investment in Oil & Gas infrastructure, provide partial guarantee for service providers, manufacturers. NCDMB developed Indigenous Marine Vessel and Offshore Assets Acquisition Strategy to promote utilization of marine vessels and offshore rigs/equipment with genuine Nigerian ownership in all O&G operations to increase the participation of Nigerians, empower communities, and maximize Nigerian crew.
“The NCDMB has developed an Original Equipment and Local Component Manufacturing Strategy to promote utilization of materials of Nigerian origin in oil and gas industry and ensure the establishment of equipment manufacturing plants that will employ thousands.”
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