MAN, NCDMB to improve Local Content Act’s implementation
Appalled by the low level of implementation of the local content Act in the country, especially in the downstream sector of the nation’s oil and gas sector, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have sought collaborations and review of initiatives to improve commitment to adoption of the Act.
MAN, alongside its Local Content Group (MANLOC), is exploring measures that will ensure that members of the downstream sector implement the Act, noting that the sector holds a huge potential for employment generation and technological industrialisation of the country.
MANLOC Chairman, Vassily Oye Barberopoulos, during a meeting between the stakeholders noted that Nigerian companies in Oil & Gas sector, both within the upstream and downstream, must be obliged to embrace local content by buying Made-In-Nigeria rather than making it the obligation of the international oil companies (IOCs) and EPCs.
“Stronger ties between NCDMB and MAN/MANLOC must be forged. MAN has over 2500 members and they need encouragement from NCDMB to understand what Local Content is all about and how they can benefit from it”, he added.
Indeed, some of the identified challenges mitigating the growth of local content players include, IOCs and EPCs using lack of capacity as an excuse to pass jobs outside the country when it actually exists, assumptions of inferior quality to export jobs, setting unrealistic schedule for production by EPCs, standards challenges, lack of quality infrastructure, unfavourable pricing after pacts have been sealed among others.
To address standards issues, MAN President, Dr. Frank Jacobs informed the stakeholders that the European Union under the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has given the Nigerian Government Euro 20 million to set quality standards including setting up of laboratories.
Assuring the stakeholders of NCDMB’s commitment, Executive Secretary, Denzil Kentebe said: “NCDMB is here to ensure the Act is complied with, that Nigerian manufacturers are given priority and that both groups have the same goal and Commitment to industrialise Nigeria through Local Content. The NCCF will continue to meet and progress making improvements would be initiated. In terms of downstream and maintenance to be done in between contract, proper measures would be put in place”.
General Manager, Zonal Coordination, Dr Ginah Okoyou Ginah added saying “the downstream has achieved a lot such as lifting of crude by Nigerian ships, and NCDMB has been advising the downstream companies on using Local Content. MAN/MANLOC must come to NCDMB as soon as it has an issue on Local Content and raise it as early as possible especially if there is no cooperation or a breach from a corporate entity. For gas cylinders there are programs but there is need to boost capacity and NCDMB have a committee on this. However MAN must play its role actively”.