Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nigeria: FG Allays Oil Majors' Fear on Local Content Act.


Lagos — The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act is not designed to nationalize foreign assets, the federal government said at the weekend as it promised oil majors that the act was to protect their businesses.

The act, which came into effect when President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan signed it into law on 22, April 2010 is not to indigenize the industry, minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke said.

"The industry has come to recognize this landmark action taken by Mr. President only a few weeks after assuming presidential authority as a major game changer for the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry and a forerunner to subsequent bold steps taken by the Jonathan Administration to integrate the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry with the local economy," she said in a statement.

She continued: "We have all seen how one year implementation efforts have rekindled our fillip to create capacity in human, infrastructure, facilities and other areas required to execute increased activities in Nigeria thereby retaining higher value in Nigeria from industry operations.

"In this way, we are bringing back Nigerian jobs which have been exported to foreign economies for a very long time at the expense of our national economic development.

"By insisting on doing more in Nigeria, we are also creating opportunities for training knowledge sharing and technology transfer; opportunities for investment in tab yards, facilities to support industry operations; opportunities for Nigerians to own equipment, marine vessels and Rigs and other equipment used in Industry. These opportunities are key to rapid and sustainable growth of the Nigerian economy.

"With the return of peace to the Oil producing areas of the Niger Delta, there are even greater prospects now for the industry to better serve the economy and provide the sectorial linkages that drive productivity.

Therefore the industry must work with Government and Community leaders to sustain the Amnesty program and continuously address the negative impacts arising from oil production.

"This strategy is already ensuring access to the oil fields with consequential boost in oil production and opening up the industry for new projects and investments on which the aspirations on Nigerian Content could be further realized."

One year is a relatively short time in the Oil and Gas industry, but the establishment of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) by the Act with clearly defined functions and powers has certainly introduced new dynamics in the implementation of Nigerian Content in the Oil and Gas Industry.

Already there is measurable and continuous growth in quantum of work being placed in Nigerian yards, contracts awarded to Nigerian companies, increasing awareness by Nigerians and indoctrination on mindset change in the short time of implementing the Act provisions by the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

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