By John Ikani
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has kicked off a tour of its facilities in the Niger Delta region with stakeholders, to showcase and sensitize them of its projects and programs in the area.
The tour which began in Cross River, proceeded to Akwa Ibom where the Board has several footprints. Beyond Akwa Ibom, stakeholders will visit Rivers State to see firsthand one of the projects the Board has enabled after which it will be the turn of Imo State then Bayelsa where its headquarters is situated, alongside an industrial park and other projects.
Enumerating the significance of the tour to stakeholders at the NOGaPS site in Odukpani in Cross River State, the General Manager, Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah pointed that the decision to initiate the assessment tour was necessitated by the need to bring critical stakeholders to areas where the Board has made significant impact and have them as ambassadors of the Board’s programs.
The GM asserted that the tour has been planned to be a regular exercise to update these stakeholders of the Board’s mandate, capacity building initiatives, and sensitization of its activities in the Niger Delta region and other parts of the country.
Leading the team, the Cross River Commissioner of Industry, Hon. Peter Egba who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, Mr. Kingsley Ndem Eyibio commended the Board for constructing a massive industrial park which was in line with the industrialization agenda of the state government. He stated that the magnitude of work done was an attestation to the essence of promoting local content with regards to the oil and gas industry.
The Commissioner expressed appreciation on the investments done in the area of generating a power plant, fire station to serve emergency incidents in the area, training facilities such as hostels and others to make the park functional and most importantly the fabrication shop floors which will engender local manufacturing of oil and gas tools and equipment.
He disclosed that the state government’s provision of an enabling environment in terms of security, ease of doing business and other incentives will facilitate investors to the park as Cross Riverians will be sensitized on the need to take advantage of the projects and the Board’s programs.
Commenting on the participation of women in oil and gas activities, the Vice Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area and President, Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative, Hon. Lawrencia Effiong Eta stressed on the importance of NOGaPS Odukpani to women in the area as it will open up avenues for them to ply their skills and competencies in the industry. She enjoined women to avail themselves of the opportunities to have skilled manpower and compete favourably.
Representing the youths in the area, the Chairman, Cross River Chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Mr. Dan Obo reiterated the commitment of the state government to industrialize the state and urged youths in the area to key into what the Board is doing. Mr. Obo indicated that the tour was an eye opener which will be brought to focus in their proposed town hall meeting to sensitize the youths of the state and also avail those with requisite knowledge to add value and create opportunities for other others in terms of capacity building and job creation.
The Youth Leader remarked that the tour has given stakeholders a sense of belonging and enlightenment of the Board’s mandate. He, however, pledged their commitment and readiness to add value as according to him, NOGaPS is the best thing to happen to the youths of Cross River.
The final leg of the tour scheduled to be at Delta State, will terminate at Edo State where stakeholders will visit facilities the Board has helped to fruition such as Gas Gathering Plant, Integrated Oil and Gas facility and other projects that are either wholly owned by the Board or by equity partnership with indigenous companies which it provided funding to catalyze the ventures from start-up to completion.