By John Ikani
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe on Tuesday visited the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe and the Commissioner for Insurance of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Sunday Olorundare Thomas at their respective offices in Abuja.
The visit by the new NCDMB boss was aimed at familiarizing himself with chief executives of institutions that are represented on the NCDMB’s Governing Council as well as exploring areas of collaboration.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary conveyed the willingness of the NCDMB to deepen its partnership with key agencies of the Federal Government to achieve the economic aspirations of President Bola Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda, adding that cooperation and teamwork were key to accomplishing any noble objective.
He promised that NCDMB would work closely with NAICOM to review and operationalize the insurance services regulations jointly issued by both agencies in June 2022, to get Nigerian oil and gas companies to patronize local insurance firms and retain spend in the economy.
The Commissioner for Insurance of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Sunday Olorundare Thomas congratulated the Executive Secretary on his appointment, noting that he would be building on the solid foundation laid by his predecessors.
He described NCDMB as a formidable institution and commended the founding fathers of the Board for their foresight in creating such an important agency. He also lauded the former Executive Secretaries of the NCDMB for their innovative projects and achievements while in office that added value to the economy.
The Commissioner for Insurance described insurance as the oxygen of business operations. He expressed concern that the insurance services regulations that were signed by the commission and NCDMB were yet to be implemented.
He requested the Executive Secretary to address the challenges, hinting that implementing the regulations would bring the needed changes in the insurance subsector of the oil and gas industry before being extended to other key sectors of the economy.
At the NUPRC, the Executive Secretary reiterated the need for teamwork and partnership amongst various agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, to sustain the growth of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
He hinted that collaboration would create an enabling environment that would attract investments and new projects into the sector, helping to create employment opportunities for youths and address insecurity in the polity.
While noting that Local Content development would be stunted if projects and investments in the oil and gas sector do not flourish, the Executive Secretary suggested that NCDMB and NUPRC should organize workshops to examine and resolve concerns identified by investors as obstacles to investments and new projects.
He hinted that investment decisions by international oil and gas companies are often affected by their assessment of their Return on Investments (ROI).
In his comments, the Commission Chief Executive of NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe congratulated the Executive Secretary on his appointment, noting that the industry was pleased to have a person of his pedigree as the new helmsman of the NCDMB.
The NUPRC’s boss highlighted the important role of the NCDMB in the operations of the upstream sector of the petroleum industry and commended the new Executive Secretary for seeking closer cooperation among the agencies.
He described the move as expedient, especially at a time when every hand is on the deck towards increasing Nigeria’s crude oil production, earning higher revenue for the nation, and reviving the economy.
According to him, the Nigerian upstream sector is facing severe pressures because of the low crude oil production and lack of investment in recent years.
He pointed out that the energy map of the world had changed considerably with the emergence of several new oil-producing countries. This situation he said, had induced a high level of competitiveness for investment capital, stressing that strategic actions must be taken to make the Nigerian environment investor-friendly.
‘We must vacate entry barriers for investment. This is common logic when there is high competition. We need to work together to lower barriers and do everything possible to motivate investment,” said the NUPRC boss.
He assured that the NUPRC would partner closely with the NCDMB to achieve some of the programmes it had planned for 2024.