By John Ikani
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has said Nigeria would neither be able to achieve energy security nor adequately address food shortages if the country does not upscale local capabilities.
Engr. Wabote made the assertion on Monday while delivering his opening address at the 2022 NOG Nigerian Content Seminar in Abuja with the theme ‘Strengthening Nigerian Content Implementation with the Seven Ministerial Regulations.’
According to him: “The need for global energy security has been brought to the fore as a result of the Russian/Ukraine conflict.
“Beyond the impact on oil prices, the world has also witnessed humanitarian crises and surge in prices of food, slower growth, and faster inflation globally.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa, the higher energy and food prices is putting pressures on social harmony. Sustenance of subsidies is seriously under threat with increasing public debt profile across the continent.
“One of the key lessons of the events in the last one year is the need to develop and sustain local capacities and capabilities to tackle issues of energy security, food shortages, insufficient vaccines, and other socio-economic disruptions,” he said.
How it relates to Nigeria
Engr. Wabote’s assertion comes at a time when Nigeria is bedeviled by energy crisis that has seen the cost of diesel almost doubling over the last one year to around N850/ litre.
Similarly, the price of 12.5kg of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) increased from N7,000 in September 2021 to N9,400, as of May 31, 2022.
Nigeria is also facing severe fuel scarcity despite interventions by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited. The products are mostly sourced externally through purchases or swap deals.
In addition, Nigeria’s four refineries in Kaduna, Warri and two in Port-Harcourt are undergoing turn around maintenance, but the government is hoping on Dangote’s 650,000 barrels per day Refinery to tackle both energy problems and salvage the country from foregn exchange spending on importation of petroleum products.
“Ministerial regulations on local content will drive investment in energy sector”
The 2022 edition of the Nigerian Content Seminar focuses on the Seven Ministerial Regulations officially gazetted by the Federal Government in 2021 and how they could be utilized to strengthen the practice of Nigerian Content.
Speaking further at the 2022 NOG Nigerian Content Seminar, the local content chieftain asserted that the seven ministerial regulations will drive investment and growth in the oil and gas sector.
Last year, the federal government approved the regulations on local content.
The regulations include training in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry 2021; Further Growth of Indigenous Capacity 2021; Registration of Oil and Gas Professionals with Nigerian Professional Bodies 2021; Establishment of Operations in Nigeria 2021; Nigerian Oil and Gas Research and Development 2021; and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Enforcement and Compliance 2021.
Engr. Wabote said Section 40 of the NOGICD Act empowers the minister to make regulations that will establish the minimum standards in facilities, personnel, and technology for training in the oil and gas industry.
The local content boss added that the ministerial regulations seek to provide a framework for monitoring the implementation of the prescribed minimum standards for training in the oil and gas industry and achieving definite outcomes regarding the skill, experience and exposure of personnel in the oil and gas industry.
“The seven ministerial regulations are meant to strengthen the implementation of Nigerian content,” he said.