By Ebi Kesiena
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) says its 10-year Strategic Roadmap has been largely transformational, with an 83 percent completion of its 96 initiatives, “with focus now shifting to the remaining initiatives that require some heavy lifting to bring into fruition”.
This was the submission of the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi wabote in his Keynote Address at the 12th Edition of the Practical Nigerian Content Forum (PNC), holding at the Nigerian Content Towers, Yenagoa Bayelsa State.
Wabote revealed that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has achieved a 54 percent Nigerian Content level in 2023, a figure consistent with the accomplishments of the previous year.
Presenting the 10-year Strategic Roadmap with only three years remaining until 2027, Wabote expressed gratitude for the extensive support received across the industry, as he reflected on the transformative journey undertaken during his seven-and-a-half-year stint as the Executive Secretary.
Highlighting key achievements, Wabote mentioned the establishment of the Research and Development Fund, leading to the creation of the Amal Tech Smoke Alarm Detector Facility set to be commissioned in Abuja. Additionally, Centers of Excellence for research and development were established in six Nigerian universities, along with the Technology Incubation and Innovation Center to support startups.
In the realm of Human Capacity Development, intervention programs were implemented in technical and vocational institutions, with specific mention of successful training programs for startup companies at the NCDMB Technology Incubation and Innovation Centre, he listed.
He added that the ICT Intervention programs in secondary schools, aimed at promoting STEM education, have proven highly popular, with over 100 completed ICT and Science Labs. He also mentioned that the board has trained nearly 2,000 teachers on STEM Education and deployed the use of the K-YAN Device.
The NCDMB boss also underlined the successful youth training initiatives in GSM hardware repairs and software development in Bayelsa, Kano, Kaduna, Cross River, and Yobe states.
The Executive Secretary shared the Board’s success stories in Enabling Business Environment, achieving the top position in the Ease of Doing Business Ranking from MDAs for the second consecutive year.
Beyond the flagship Practical Nigerian Content Forum, Wabote highlighted the introduction of other Board-sponsored events to enhance conversations on Nigerian Content, including the Nigerian Oil & Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF), Research and Development Fair, NCCF Retreat, NC Managers Retreat, Women in Oil & Gas Workshop, APPO African Local Content Roundtable, Midstream & Downstream Workshop, HCD Workshop, and Nigerian Content Sensitization Workshops.
Wabote asserted that the current performance surpasses the minimum target of 47 percent Nigerian Content set for 2023, reflecting the Board’s consistent over-achievement of targets, exemplified by exceeding the 42 percent Nigerian Content target set for 2022 with an impressive 54 percent accomplishment.
The 2023 edition of the PNC among other objectives, is gathering of policymakers to showcase emerging opportunities for collaboration and partnership between the public sector and private business interests, and between the private sector and academia, from divestments by IOCs and the decarbonisation drive in the oil and gas industry.