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By NBF News
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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have signed an agreement with five Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for the injection of $62m in local components manufacturing in Nigeria within the next three years.

The five companies, according to a statement by the Board, are part of the 58 manufacturers of oil and gas equipment that have met the technical requirements prescribed by NCDMB in its Equipment Components Manufacturing Initiative (ECMI) and have been issued Nigerian Content Equipment Certificates.

The ECMI is geared at getting manufacturers of oil and gas equipment or their representatives to commit to credible proposals on domiciling local manufacturing of some components of their equipment at the shortest possible time.

Under the initiative, importation of some vital industry equipment by the manufacturers are only allowed by the Board after the suppliers have committed to domiciliation plans.

Speaking at the event in Port Harcourt, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Ernest Nwapa explained that the investments planned by the five companies is expected to create 250 skilled employment for Nigerians apart from the transfer of technology know-how, development of manufacturing skills and development of after-market maintenance skills.

Nwapa however, clarified that obtaining the Nigerian Content Equipment Certificates was not a licence to win contracts in the industry, adding that the Board had an in-built mechanism to track investment commitments and domiciliation plans and will apply appropriate sanctions to defaulters.

He further explained that the Board would in keeping with section 48 of the Nigerian Content Act make recommendations to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, for a fiscal framework that would impose a higher tax burden on equipment utilised in the industry with less than 50 per cent local content, with a view to addressing issues of price competitiveness usually associated with locally made goods.

In his comments, the Managing Director of SPDC, Mutiu Sumonu, explained that his company supported the Equipment Components Manufacturing Initiative because of the multiplier effects it will bring to the oil and gas industry and Nigerian economy.

To ensure the success of the investments, he said SPDC was committed to lead the exercise, offer logistics assistance to the OEMs and maintain large demands for the equipment.