NIGERIA’S inability to locally generate local content in men and materials needed in driving its oil and gas industry has resulted in the loss of an estimated $380 billion in the last 30 years, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Ernest Nwapa, has said.
Speaking Tuesday at the opening of the annual Practical Nigerians Content in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, Nwapa added that Nigeria also lost about 10 million direct and indirect jobs over the period.
The NCDMB boss highlighted that Nigeria, before the introduction of local content development initiative, was contributing less than 15 per cent to the value chain of the oil and gas sector.
Away from the glooming past, however, Nwapa said the beginning of local content as a policy in 2009 has resulted in the industry attracting about $5 billion in investments since 2009.
He stated that most of the industry needs that are hitherto taken outside Nigeria are now done in country.
He cited the building of pipe mill yards, ownership and rehabilitation of vessels and the increasing indigenous ownership of support services.
Nwapa reiterated that the focus of the NCDMB was on job creation, training and domestication of capacity, technologies and services.
He argued that Nigerians expect the physical effects of local content policy to manifest immediately, saying “the effects of the implementation is not a switch thing that can be turned on and off. It takes time to be felt physically but I can tell you that Nigeria is already seeing the effects in terms of investment and opportunities that have been created so far. Nigerians do not need to see this strictly in terms of contracts available to them but in terms of opportunities created. Nigerians must see the oil and gas sector as a tool for industrialisation where opportunities will be available for many.”
Nwapa stressed that 905 experts have been registered so far in the various initiatives under the local content development initiative, revealing that from next year, only Nigerian tankers will be cleared to carry Nigerian crude oil.