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Steady rise in development of indigenous capabilities as Nigeria Local Content grows to 35% from less than 5%

The ultramodern NCDMB HQ built in Swali, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State

By Chrystal NK Chukwudebe

THUR 03 JUNE, 2021-theGBJournal- Nigeria’s decision to pay attention to Local Content Development sparked broad-based rise in the number of indigenous companies competing favourably in the oil and gas space, helping domestically produced goods and services operate viably in the economy.

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), responsible for pushing the Nigerian Local Content forward, has moved the Nigerian Content to 35% from less than 5% before the advent of the local content law. This is disclosed today by the Executive Secretary NCDMB Engineer Simbi Wabote who addressed a gathering at the 1st African Local Roundtable Conference at the Nigerian Content Tower, Yenagoa, Beyelsa State, Nigeria.

Analysts said the bounce in Nigerian Content was triggered by signs that domestically produced goods and services were responding to the challenge of providing acceptable quality and standard.

Four years ago, the NCDMB launched a 10-year Strategic Roadmap to move Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry to 70% by the year 2027. This move is the boldest yet by the Monitoring Board to build a structured capacity to push forward the development of in-country capacities and capabilities.

At the conference today,-holding to provide a platform for oil and gas producing countries in Africa to discus and promote the implementation and deepening of Local Content- Wabote highlighted the need for African countries and countries elsewhere to pay attention to Local Content. The need for that he said was made very apparent during the global lock-down at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wabote pointed out five key parameters required to be in place for any sustainable Local Content practice-regulatory framework, gap analysis, capacity building, funding and incentives, and research and development.

According to Wabote, ‘’an enabling regulatory framework backed with appropriate legislation is very fundamental in Local Content practice. A law, or decree deepening on the political arrangement in a country, sets the framework and boundaries for all local content practioners. Baseline and periodic gap analyses are essential to determine gaps that needed to be closed in the areas of skills, facilities and infrastructure.’’

He noted that the oil and gas industry is very dynamic which he suggests requires regular reviews and monitoring of local content goals to show where capacities have been met and where there is over-capacity to guide deployment of resources and investment decisions.

‘’For us in Nigeria, we set aspirational targets as contained in our Local Content law. The NOGICD Act (Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development) has set minimum targets in 278 services across oil and gas value chain to enhance local capacity development.’’

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