The Federal Government has extended the implementation of the Nigerian content policy to the power and information technology sector as a result of the progress recorded in the oil and gas industry so far.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) Dr. Ernest Nwapa, made this disclosure at the unveiling of Petrolog Group’s newly acquired DP2 Saturation Diving Vessel, which is believed to be the largest of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The saturation diving vessel christened DSV Vinnice is valued at $170 million and is equipped for shallow and deep-water operations and can be used for construction, repair and maintenance of oil-rigs and other offshore naval constructions.
He described the acquisition as another affirmation that indigenous oil servicing companies have developed capacity to acquire and operate hi-tech assets and could participate in every segment of the oil and gas industry notwithstanding the challenges.
According to him, the emergence of a new breed of Nigerian investors and the quantum of investments they are making have erased any doubts that government and the people of Nigeria were resolute with the implementation of the policy.
Restating that Nigerian Content was a national agenda, Nwapa added that the Federal Government has started to extend the implementation of the policy to the power and information technology sectors following the huge success recorded in the oil and gas industry.
He credited President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke for providing a conducive environment for the successes recording in the implementation process, noting that signing the Nigerian Content Bill into law unleashed the potentialities of Nigerians entrepreneurs. “When President Jonathan signed the Act in 2010, he set Nigerian entrepreneurs free,” he added.
Speaking further, the Executive Secretary stated that real Nigerian content accomplishment would only come when vessels such as DSV Vinnice are constructed in Nigeria, expressing hope that any other such vessel to be acquired by a Nigerian investor will be outfitted at the Naval Dockyard Lagos and some of the components manufactured in-country.
He assured that the Board was working with the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) to ensure that any major asset acquired by a Nigerian investor gets deployed in the industry as doing otherwise will negatively affect the banks that funded the acquisition as well as make it difficult for other companies to get similar credit from Nigerian banks.
Nwapa recalled that the Board made ownership of assets a key plank of implementation because it provided the opportunity for exposing the technology to other Nigerians.
He also announced that the Board will henceforth make it a requirement for all contracting entities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to adopt a faculty or department in any Nigerian university and develop a programme that allow the students to learn on the company’s assets as a means of bridging the gap between universities and the oil and gas industry.
The Chairman of Petrolog Group, Dr. Joseph Ebuh described the Nigerian Content Act as the greatest boost to the company’s growth. He stated that “since the Act came into effect, we have been emboldened to take giant steps and risks to meet existing demand.”
He commended the NCDMB for its implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, which according to him has created opportunities for indigenous companies to thrive.
Ebu stated: “This brand new ABS classed Dynamic Positioning Dive Support Vessel is the largest indigenously owned dive support vessel in Sub Sahara Africa. DSV Vinnice is the latest addition to Petrolog’s marine assts and other facilities to enhance oil production in Nigeria and other countries.
“Since its establishment well over three decades ago, Petrolog has maintained a competitive edge knowing fully well that the sector in which we are operating thrives on global best practices. It was this resolve at the very early stage of our commencement of business that helped us to survive and thrive even when approximately 99 per cent of our competitors were foreign multi-national companies.
“This commitment to sticking to standards also immensely aided our expansion drive and foray into other countries and continents. Today Petrolog operates in United States of America, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Angola, Tanzania, Canada and a few other countries. Our core services extends from drilling, surface logging, engineering and subsea.
“However, the greatest impetus to this huge investment stems from the local content policy (NOGICD Act 2010) of the Federal Government which has thrown a big challenge to companies in the oil and gas in Nigeria.