With strategies now put in place by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Nigeria stands to save a whopping sum of 1.8 USD (about N270 billion) it has been losing to foreign vessels involved in conveying imported petroleum products into the country.
NCDMB Executive Secretary, Engineer Ernest Nwapa made this known recently, giving an indication that International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria have been directed to, as from June, hire 40 indigenously-owned vessels to replace contracted foreign-owned vessels.
He stated that the foreign-owned vessels and rig operators dominated the sector before the enactment of the Nigerian Content Act, resulting in about $3 billion capital flight recorded so far.
He noted with optimism, however, that the situation is changing because “from our calculation in 2012, we will be retaining over $1.8 billion just by ensuring that these vessels are owned by Nigerians,” he said.
According to him, “the International Operating Companies made commitments to replace foreign vessels, which the Board had defined as Category two Vessels. Some of these include Anchor Handling Tugs (AHT), Dynamic Positioning Platform Supply Vessels (DP PSV) and Line Handling Tugs (LHT).
“Category 1 Vessels in the Board’s definition include Crew Supply Vessels, Mooring Launch Vessels, Shallow Draft Vessels, Fast Supply/Intervention Vessels and Security Vessels.
“Already, almost all the Category 1 vessels working in the Oil and Gas industry are owned by Nigerians and are being manufactured locally while an investor has concluded plans to begin manufacturing 40 metre vessels in Nigerdock Snake Island facility from 2013,” he said.
The executive secretary described local content as a tool that would stimulate industrialisation of Nigeria, create productive employment and bring Nigerian jobs back.
He stressed that it was only by establishing pipe mills, dockyards and other facilities and patronising them that indigenes of oil-bearing communities would be integrated into the industry and employment opportunities created for Nigerians teeming youths.
Nwapa explained that the Board was promoting equipment components manufacturing because of its capacity to employ appreciable number of people, adding that the Board would always insist that capacities of Nigerian yards and facilities must be exhausted before work can be exported.
The executive secretary also hailed the plan by Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas Company to set up a dry-docking facility in Nigeria to service the company’s 24 tankers managed by BGT, noting that the project was bankable.
He clarified that efforts to increase Nigeria’s participation in the industry was not intended to drive out foreigners from the economy as the high technology areas are still open to foreign and indigenous players.
Recalling that all international operating companies in Nigeria had placed job with SCC Pipe Mill in Abuja, Nwapa stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was in the process of placing an order with the company, which he said, would help keep employees of the company at job.
He highlighted the need to set up more pipe mills in the country to ensure successful execution of the Gas Master Plan and replacement of old pipes, expected to utilise over 2500 kilometres of pipes in the next five years.
Apart from proposal by a company to build a mill in Calabar and the Yulong Pipe Mill to be sited in Yenagoa, Nwapa said that there was also a need to site a mill in the north for use in the Gas Master Plan project.