Nigerian oil minister wants local content to transform economy

Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has hailed the successes recorded in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, which was signed into law 20 months ago by the nation’s President Goodluck Jonathan, describing it as key to the transformation agenda of the administration.

Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke

She spoke in Lagos after inspecting two key Nigerian content driven facilities-Nigerdock in Snake Island and Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base, Tarkwa Bay,in continuation of her efforts to take stock of capacities available to execute industry projects and operations using local human and material resources as prescribed in the Nigerian Content Act.

The Minister who wasshown round several facilities and projects in Nigerdock, including the Abang and Itut platforms fabricated by Nigerdock for Mobil Nigeria Producing, confessed that progress recorded in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act are best appreciated when seen physically.

The Abang and Itut platforms are part of 3 well-head platforms in the Satellite Fields Development Project – Phase I of MPN which seeks to recover hydrocarbons from viable undeveloped fields within the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC /Mobil Producing Nigeria Joint Venture’s acreage.

She enthusedher satisfaction with how ideas of Nigerian Content are coming into life with positive implications for Nigerians and the entire economy.

According to her, “it is different coming to see platforms fabricated in-country, the largest dry dock facility in West Africa and to understand the extent Nigerians are learning skills and techniques that will carry the sector into the next decade. Government is proud of what we have seen here today.”

Madueke further directed the Board, international operating companies and service companies to publicize the successes recorded so far in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, to serve as a motivation to other investors who are planning to come into the industry or at various stages of projects development.

Addressing workers at Nigerdock, the Minister charged them to be diligent in their jobs and understand that their individual contributions are critical to the development of the economy.

She further urged them to be tenacious so they can put their capacities at the disposal of other Nigerians seeking to establish similar facilities in the country in the near future.

Speaking further after inspecting LADOL, the Minister commended the company for taking a bold business decision to come up with the project, which will be 100 per cent indigenously owned.

She maintained that for the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry and the economy to grow, “there is a need for combined efforts of stakeholders, visionaries and investors like LADOL.”

Madueke who pledged Federal Government’s support to LADOL’s projects, expressed hope that the major projects planned to take off inthe base like the Umbilical plant and FPSO integration facility will come into being in a few years.

She further assured that the Federal Government will continue to support the implementation of Nigerian Content in the Oil and Gas Industry and ensure that any facility established in Nigeria would be fully utilized before work can be sent out of the country.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa confirmed that the Minister who doubles as the Chairman of the Board’s Governing Council has been stoic in her support of the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act.

He stressed that all the successes recorded with its structured implementation of the Act were only possible because of the support the Minister lends tothe Board’s initiatives as well as to overcome initial resistance by some powerful interest groups.

In his speech, the Managing Director of Nigerdock, Mr. Chris Bennett explained that the company’s outlook to Nigerian Content went beyondmerely complying with the law but to building a sustainable business and growth in meaningful employment.

He explained that the company presently employs 1800 staff and will increase its staff strength to 3600 before the end of 2012, with some new jobs being expected.

Giving further insight to the Ebang-Itut project, the Managing Director of MPN, Mr. Mark Ward explained that the 2 platforms fabricated by Nigerdock will produce up to 70 thousand barrels of crude per day.

The project took 2.3 million Man-hours with no Lost Time Incident to fabricate and a total of 30 NCDMB nominees were trained at Nigerdock in the course of the project.


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