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By NBF News
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The proportion of contracts awarded to Nigerian companies in the Oil and Gas Industry has risen to between 70 and 85 per cent, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa, has said.

Delivering a keynote address at the Nigeria-UK Oil and Gas Supply Chain programme in Lagos recently, Nwapa who applauded the increase, however, described it as a partial percentage value of Nigerian content achieved by the industry.

Inspite of the increase in contracts awarded to Nigerian companies, the industry still had a long way to go towards recording substantial percentages of real Nigerian content, he said.

A statement from the Head, Public Affairs, of the board, Obinna Ezeobi, said the executive secretary maintained that real Nigerian content value is based on the proportion of contract sums spent within the Nigerian economy especially on Nigerian made goods and services rendered with Nigerian owned assets and equipment.

According to him, the real Nigerian content value hovers between 12 and 18 per cent at this point, up from 3 to 5 percent recorded two years ago.

He identified a major weakness of the local supply chain in Nigeria as the absence of manufacturing activity, stressing that for such a mature industry, a supply chain without local manufacturing was like a house without solid foundation.

Nwapa explained that the predominant message captured in the Nigerian Content Act is development of local capacity, adding that Nigerians must be determined to pursue this goal in their quest for partnerships.

He stressed that without developing local manufacturing of components used by the industry, there would be no further Nigerian content growth and that creation of employment opportunities would be stunted.

In view of this, the executive secretary said the board conceived the Equipment Components Manufacturing Initiative, which seeks to get local  representatives of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Nigeria to partner with  such OEMs to set up manufacturing facilities in Nigeria.

The board has now made it mandatory that for any equipment that will be supplied for use henceforth in the oil and gas industry, certain components must be manufactured locally.