…Promotes Nigerian Content on global stage
Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) was on Wednesday conferred with a global award of excellence for outstanding contributions to sustainable local content development in Nigeria and across Africa’s Oil and Gas Industry.
The award was conferred on him by the organizers of African Oil Week at the PetroAfricanus Dinner, as part of the events marking AOW’s 25th anniversary celebration.
Reading the citation for the award, Conference Director, Africa Oil Week, Mr. Paul Sinclair, highlighted the considerations for Engr. Wabote’s selection and suitability for the award, which include his ongoing unprecedented contributions to localization of industry knowledge and expertise, monumental capacity development programs in Nigeria with cross border impacts, trenchant advocacy of the imperatives of local content practice and benefits, smart regulations and rare leadership capacity to balance dialogue between international commercial ventures and national interest.
He stated that in the 25years history of AOW, this is the first time an award was given for Local Content excellence by AOW/ITE Group.
Wabote took the opportunity to promote Nigerian Content on the global stage when he addressed delegates at the start of the African Local Content Forum.
The African Local Content Forum is an innovative inclusion in the bouquet of AOW plenaries promoted by NCDMB and other partners to serve as a high profile platform for NOCs, International and Independents Oil Companies, Service Companies to generate single vision of future roadmap for African Content within the global oil and gas sector.
Speaking on the topic , “How to Develop Funds for Local Content Development“, Wabote asserted that Nigerian Content Development Fund model, which is underpinned by legislation is an attractive option for both upcoming and matured oil and gas jurisdictions in the African sub-region.
He outlined five key parameters required for sustainable local content practice, to wit, Regulatory Framework, Capacity Building, Gap Analysis, Research and Development, and Funding and provision of incentives. “The importance of funding”, he said, “cannot be over-emphasized in any human endeavor”.
Thus, he added “the authors of the Nigerian Content Act, in recognition of the importance of funding to the success of Nigerian Content, made a key provision for funding to deliver the key objectives of the law.”
The funding provision, he emphasized, is not only to enable the Board to carry out its functions as a regulator “without having to go round cap-in-hand to solicit for fund from operators”, but also to enable it develop capacities and capabilities in-country for increased value retention. He argued that the success of the Nigerian Content Development Fund could be attributed to the following factors: A clear, unambiguous provision backed by law; a clear remittance framework, sufficient time for accretion, transparent and impactful utilization.
Regardless of his advocacy for the Nigerian model, Wabote sounded a caveat, “There is no ‘one size fits all’ in local content practice”. To succeed, countries need to adopt best practices, but it is useful to tweak them to suit local circumstances, he concluded.