Federal Government Local Content Policy: Yielding Positive Results In Oil And Gas Industry –By Samson Omotunde Makanju

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The Federal Government’s local content policy has started to yield positive results in the oil and gas sector with the partnership built between Waltersmith Refining and Petro-Chemical Company, a joint venture between Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), a Federal Government of Nigeria’s Parastatal.
The NCDMB was established in the year 2010 by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGIGD) Act, with the key function of engaging in targeted capacity building interventions that would deepen indigenous capabilities and to establish, maintain and operate the joint qualification system in conjunction with industry stakeholders.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in continuation of his media inspection tour of projects and facilities across the nation with Journalists, undertook an inspection tour of Waltersmith Refining and Petro-Chemical Company, a modular refinery, located at Ohaji- Egbema, in Imo State last Tuesday. The Minister was accompanied on the inspection tour by the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Chairmen of both Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Information and National Orientation, Senator Danladi Sankara and Hon. Olusegun Odebunmi, Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba and a host of other dignitaries.
The joint venture agreement, according to the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, 70% equity was given to Waltersmith, a leading independent Nigerian Energy Company and 30% equity to NCDMB. This of course is in line with the 10-year strategic roadmap of 70% local content expected to be achieved before 2027.
Addressing journalists at the company’s premises, the Minister stated the need to commend Waltersmith for its courage in venturing into the local refining business in the communities, saying the essence of the venture was to make gas available to Nigerians and discourage the use of kerosene.
The first phase of the Waltersmith Refinery targeted close to 5000 barrels of crude per day. The Minister explained that the overall impact of these investments by Waltersmith was to create the enabling environment of promoting industrialization and significantly, promoting economic and GDP growth. He said through the investment, job opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers would be created, while community contracts would be created for the host community and others in the area.
All that NCDMB has been doing is to extend its collaboration with other sister agencies and MDAs with a view to improving patronage of our local companies. The partnership of NCDMB with Waltersmith refinery and Petro-chemical Company should be seen as a step in the right direction.
The Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, who expressed his excitement with the location of the refinery in the state, said the local content policy of government has now become a success story and would help to boost the economy of the nation both at the local and national level. He pleaded with the company to as part of its corporate social responsibility consider dualising one or two roads in the host community.
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) should be seen as the catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. Nigerians look forward for more partnerships in the future as the Present Administration cannot continue to subsidize everything at the expense of delivering democratic dividends to the people.
We need to focus more on infrastructural developments like roads, transportation and other developmental needs of Nigerians.
*Samson Omotunde Makanju (samsonmakanju@yahoo.com) wrote this piece from Owerri, Imo State.
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