The Senate Committee on Local Content has said there is a need to amend the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act to clarify some vague and ambiguous expressions, revisit the waiver provisions and rephrase the section on penalty for effectiveness. The committee also expressed the need to undertake a holistic review of the Act to cover other sectors of the economy to meet current realities.
There is also the need, according to the committee, to resuscitate technical and vocational education as a vector for human capacity development. Science, engineering and technology curricula in the universities and other tertiary institutions, the committee said, need to be reformed and reorganised to meet requirements of the oil and gas industry.
These were the recommendations at the end of a three-day capacity building workshop organised for the Committee in Accra, Ghana.
After several insightful presentations on the NCDMB’s mandate, its operation, the regulatory framework in the oil industry, the journey so far and the challenges of enforcing compliance, all members of the committee (eight senators) in attendance lauded the NCDMB for the significant milestones recorded, despite very many drawbacks.
It also praised the Board for its strategic implementation of the NOGICD Act and the steady growth in local capacities.
Its Chairman, Senator Solomon Adeola, said from all that he heard and saw, the Board was fulfilling the purpose for which it was established.
Senate Minority Leader and Vice Chairman of the Committee Senator Godswill Akpabio and others corroborated Adeola and promised to support the Board to ensure that Nigerians derived more benefits from the oil and gas industry.
Senate Deputy Minority Leader Senator Abiodun Olujumi underlined that the participation of two principal officers of the Senate and six others clearly showed the importance the Upper Chamber attached to local content in Nigeria.
In his opening address, Adeola reminded members of the purpose for creating the Committee on Local Content, which include to ensure the use of local manpower by companies operating in Nigeria; design policies that will engender the patronage of locally-made goods and services; to oversight NCDMB’s work and identify the gaps in the NOGICD Act with a view to amending it to reflect current realities.
He noted that the workshop was necessary to develop legislators’ understanding of NCDMB’s mandate, the journey so far, what has been achieved, the challenges and further actions required.
The NCDMB Executive Secretary, SimbiWabote, who spoke on the topic: “Structure and Operation of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board”, reaffirmed the Board’s determination to fulfill its mission “to be the catalyst for the industrialisation of Nigerian oil and gas and its linkage sectors”. He acknowledged the senators’ encouraging remarks, noting that their commendations and positive feedback will act as fresh tonic to the Board in the pursuit of its strategic objective to increase Nigerian Content performance to 70 per cent in the next 10years.
The workshop had many papers presentations from a cross section of professionals. The papers were followed with panel discussions. There were extensive question and answer sessions with the senators unanimously agreeing on the need to amend the NOGICD Act.