The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has pledged to partner with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in growing Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry to the 70 per cent target set by the Federal Government, especially in the complex deep offshore.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andy Yakubu, stated that the participation of Nigerian Content in the industry, especially in the upstream, had substantially increased from a merger 10 per cent before the enactment of the law to more than 30 per cent, citing example with the recent USAN Deep Offshore Field development.

He added: “These percentages are even higher and in some cases have attained 100 per cent, for example the Utorogu Gas Plant Expansion Project.”

The NNPC boss listed other projects with high Nigerian Content value to include the OB3 Pipeline Project, Escravos Lagos Pipeline Phase 2, the Aba Depot and Okirika Jetty Rehabilitation Project.

He explained that windows of opportunities to grow Nigerian Content exist in the upstream, midstream and downstream segments of the oil and gas value chain to grow Nigerian Content.

Yakubu also advised Nigerians to set up medium sized companies in both exploration and production in areas like well services engineering, measurement, mud and logging engineering services.

According to him, the monetization of the country’s natural gas endowments presented other opportunities for growing Nigerian content, just like the revamping/rehabilitation of existing downstream infrastructure.

He further stated that the enactment of the Nigerian content by President Good luck Jonthan had positively impacted on the sector and expressed hope that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill by will further enhance benefits from the Nigerian Content Act.

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Ernest Nwapa, stated that for Nigeria to be a great oil producing nation, stakeholders must make conscious efforts to develop a robust supply chain which will includes facilities, own assets and stimulate local manufacturing.

According to him, there was a compelling need to create legacies from mega industry projects so that long after contracts have been concluded, Nigerians can be productively engaged and use capacities developed to service other sectors of the economy.

He further canvassed the adoption of a developmental model which focuses on creating in-country value and building a viable industry as against just extracting and selling crude oil to earn revenue for government.

Nwapa warned that any slippage in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act will reverse the gains already recorded like the patronage of the SCC Pipe Mill and lead to disuse of facilities and loss of jobs.

By Lily