“The Executive Secretary (ES) of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, emphasized that unless African nations grasp the significance of driving their development through the promotion of local content, the continent’s economy will remain unstable. Wabote asserted that African countries aspiring to attain economic prosperity must cultivate their indigenous capabilities to process, utilize, and export their resources,leadership reports.
This message was conveyed during his presentation at the 2023 Africa Energy Week in Cape Town, South Africa. Wabote expressed his regret that many African nations lack the necessary local expertise in crucial sectors of the oil and gas industry, including Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Fabrication, Installation, Commissioning, and Operation. This deficiency results in missed opportunities for job creation, revenue generation, skill development, and other facets of national progress.
Furthermore, he pointed out that these broad categories account for a significant portion of expenditures within the oil and gas industry. Therefore, it is imperative for oil-producing nations to cultivate local capabilities to ensure that these financial outflows remain within their borders.
Wabote offered guidance on how to enhance local content capacity in African nations. He stressed the importance of making local content a national priority and supporting it with appropriate legislation or legal frameworks. This approach would communicate to all stakeholders, including institutions, businesses, decision-makers, investors, and citizens, that local procurement, fabrication, and manufacturing are of utmost national importance.
Drawing from Nigeria’s experience, Wabote recounted how the country initiated policy directives to deepen local content practices in the oil and gas sector before enacting the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act in 2010, eliminating the possibility of companies merely complying with local content requirements on a ‘best endeavor’ basis.
Wabote also outlined additional strategies for enhancing local content capacity, such as establishing accurate data on current in-country capabilities and conducting gap analyses to identify disparities between the current state and the national vision. He emphasized that periodic gap analyses are crucial for pinpointing areas that need improvement and tracking progress in the areas of interest.
He emphasized that local content is not a one-size-fits-all concept, and it should take into account local peculiarities in programs aimed at enhancing indigenous capabilities.
Additionally, Wabote identified other essential tools for promoting local content, including structured capacity-building initiatives to address identified gaps, as well as funding and incentives, which are vital for implementing local content programs, developing infrastructure, attracting new investments, and sustaining existing businesses.
Wabote stressed the importance of patronizing in-country capacities and capabilities, stating that policies, capacities, and individuals would all be in vain without opportunities for engagement and rewards for their contributions to sustainability and growth. He explained that the NCDMB ensures the patronage of local goods and services through principles like the ‘right of first refusal’ contained in the Nigerian Content Act, as well as various project certification and compliance monitoring mechanisms.
In an update on the Board’s activities, the Executive Secretary reported that NCDMB launched a 10-year Strategic Roadmap in 2018 with the goal of increasing Nigerian Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry to 70 percent by 2027. He noted that various initiatives were implemented under five strategic pillars and four vision enablers. As of the end of 2022, five years into the 10-year journey, the board had already achieved a 54 percent Nigerian Content level, surpassing the 42 percent target.”