By Esueme Dan Kikile
TWELVE years of strategic planning and creative deployment of regulatory powers at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board have literally reinvented Nigeria’s oil and gas industry to a degree that national aspirations, for decades elusive, have suddenly become realisable. Those aspirations, consecrated by evidence of how Middle Eastern countries with similar resource endowments got transformed almost overnight, derived from general consciousness of the possibilities for diversification of the nation’s productive base, rapid economic growth, and infrastructure development. Upstream, midstream, and downstream of the oil and gas industry, low-hanging fruits beckoned but turned out to be no better than the fruit-laden bough dangling over Tantalus of Greek legend. All that is now history because of a law and an institutional special purpose vehicle primed to make exploitation of hydrocarbon resources maximally beneficial to Nigeria.
NCDMB: Prospecting for Capacity-enhanced Growth
Armed with a mandate to “maximise the share and participation of Nigerians in oil and gas activities; maximise the utilisation of Nigerian-made goods and services and Nigerian-owned assets,” and to “integrate oil-producing communities into the oil and gas value chain,” the NCDMB has recorded a quantum leap in local content in that sector, from less than five per cent before 2010 to over 42 per cent at the end of 2021. NCDMB as a regulatory agency has not only eliminated unnecessary bottlenecks and capital-related constraints that hitherto hampered entry or expansion of firms, but it has also morphed into a major promoter of business projects and thus significantly boosted economic performance.
In the oil and gas industry today are no fewer than 287 well-resourced service companies owned by Nigerians, as against 27 before 2010. Indigenous operating companies, some with daily crude oil output of over 90,000 barrels per day and cumulatively accounting for over 15 per cent of total output, are making their own marks, just as about 40 per cent of rigs and marine vessels are Nigerian-owned, up from three per cent before 2010. High-tech services like front-end and detailed engineering, fabrication, and procurement, hitherto exclusively handled by foreign service companies in their home countries, are now fully domiciled in Nigeria, with the result that Nigerian indigenous companies and their engineers have acquired levels of technical expertise that qualify them to compete for such services anywhere else in the world. Facilities on the cutting edge of technology, particularly fabrication yards like LADOL’s in Takwa Bay, Lagos, and MG Vowgas Group’s in Port Harcourt, have placed Nigeria in an enviable position as a potential hub for such services in Africa.
For illustration of how advanced and dependable Nigerian service companies have become, we could recall the record-shattering execution of TOTAL Energies’ Egina floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) deep water project, given the scope of the multi-billion dollar contract handled locally. Based on clauses introduced by the NCDMB into the Nigerian Content Plan, stipulating that the FPSO vessel, which was built in South Korea, must be integrated in Nigeria, Samsung Heavy Industries and LADOL undertook to build the US$300 million SHI-MCI Yard in Lagos, the first of its type in the Gulf of Guinea. So, six of the topside modules of the FPSO vessel had to be fabricated by Nigerian companies, including Nigerdock, Aveon Offshore, and FMC. In addition, paints to be used for the vessel had to be procured from companies in Nigeria and shipped to the shipbuilders in South Korea. The Offshore Loading Terminal (OLT) buoy was similarly fabricated in Nigeria by Aveon Offshore.
Capabilities now in-country are awesome, at least for a Third World environment. Among the multitude of indigenous firms are trailblazers like MG Vowgas Group which, in 2019, assembled the first ballistic airboat in Nigeria, and DeltaAfrik Engineering, a leading engineering company that participated in the detailed engineering design of the Egina FPSO topside. With a world-class fabrication yard and technical expertise, the credentials of the MG Vowgas Group are sound in fabrication of topsides, structural steel works, including the construction of process plants and pressure vessels.
Interestingly, Nigeria-based service companies of foreign background are strenuously innovating and upgrading their equipment and facilities to keep pace with developments and emerging challenges in the oil and gas industry not only in Nigeria but worldwide. Samsung Heavy Industries, whose spectacular accomplishment in the Egina FPSO project remains a testament to technological capabilities, SIEMENS Energy, with core competence in rotating and mechanical systems, SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Limited, and BAKER HUGHES, among others, are most notable. Based in Nigeria and operating at peak performance, they are equally significant as contributors to local content.
In-country capacity extends to pipe mills, which manufacture quality HSAW line pipes, much-needed in the oil and gas industry. Two of the said mills are of world standard. In Abuja is SCC Pipe-Mill, which has a nameplate capacity of 270,000 metric tonnes (MT) per annum, while Lagos is the base of Yulong Pipe-Mill, with an installed capacity of 400,000 MT. There are also pipe coating and pipe threading plants in different parts of the country, with adequate facilities to provide quality service to the oil and gas industry.
In ways that might not be obvious to analysts outside the industry, the significant inroads of Nigerian service companies into oil and gas operations and consequent increase in the utilisation of local inputs are steadily driving down costs that should reflect in lower expenditure in production operations. In other words, the cost per barrel of crude which, until recently, was within the brackets of $15 to $17, as explained by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, would drop gradually to the $10 per barrel target of the Federal Government.
It is worthy of note that Local Content policy as enshrined in the aforementioned Act is guided by defined standards and principles and is not to be misconstrued as unconditional acceptance and promotion of assets, goods and services that are of Nigerian origin. NCDMB collaborates with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure that materials and products for use in the oil and gas industry meet prescribed standards and qualities. As the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, warned in 2019, “We must not allow Local Content to become an excuse for cost overruns, slippages in project delivery schedule or shoddy job.”
The impressive growth in in-country capacity and capabilities translates into a reduction of nearly 50 per cent in capital flight, which by conservative estimation totalled about US$380 billion in a 50-year period in oil and gas exploration and production. Of the annual oil industry spend of $20 billion, the local economy is now able to retain about $9 billion, up from $1 billion before the NOGICD Act, just as over 50,000 direct jobs have been created. That is what the steady growth in local content, currently at over 42 per cent, translates into. But it remains a far cry from the target of the NCDMB. The Board is pulling out all the stops to make it 70 per cent, through a Nigerian Content 10-Year Strategic Roadmap, initiated back in 2017 by its visionary Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.
Across the oil and gas industry – upstream, midstream, and downstream – the plaudits for the NCDMB and its Executive Secretary are almost deafening and unceasing for the phenomenal transformation recorded since the enactment of the NOGICD Act, and particularly in the six years of the Chief Executive in the saddle. The Managing Director/CEO, MG Vowgas Group, Mr. Godwin Izomor, had this to say: “Accolades will … go specifically to our pragmatic and dynamic Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote, and his team, for the giant strides achieved during his tenure. Without the NCDMB, we wouldn’t be where we are today as a company.”
From the former Managing Director/CEO of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, Bonny, Engr. Tony Attah, it was plaudits spiced with snippets on how the multi-billion dollar Train 7 project got perfected through the instrumentality of Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote. His words: “We have experienced the Executive Secretary very positively, and perhaps there is nobody else, at least in Africa, who understands Local Content more than he does. When he was a staff member of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), he was recognised and exported to Dubai to help them on Local Content. From Dubai, he went to Oman, to Brazil and he eventually came back to Nigeria. And it soon became obvious that he had to move to the national league.”
Amidst the plaudits, the Executive Secretary launched out in advocacy for Nigerian content to be extended to other critical productive sectors, pointing out the necessity for amendment to the existing NOGICD Act, 2010. At different fora, including an appearance at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja in 2019, he explained the nexus between local content practice and economic diversification and material prosperity, and why it would be most rewarding to the nation to have sectors such as construction, Information and Communication Technology and power, among others, included. His passion made his push irresistible, and the National Assembly and The Presidency have responded appropriately.
The Federal Government has already signalled its contentment with the accomplishments of the Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote-led NCDMB through its Executive Orders 03 and 05 of 2018 and chosen to make local content practice applicable in other sectors of the economy. Through a proclamation entitled “Presidential Executive Order 5 for planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in contracts and science, engineering and technology,” ministries, departments and agencies were directed to henceforth engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design, and execution of projects. At the National Assembly, too, Local Content Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives have begun preliminary legislative work to actualise that aspiration.
Several governments of oil-producing countries across Africa have so recognised the genius of Engr. Simbi Wabote and sought strategic support and mentorship for development of local content. They want guidance in policy and practice. Key officials of ministerial level from the petroleum industry of Ghana, Niger Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville and Senegal, have all been to Nigerian Content Towers, Corporate Headquarters of NCDMB, in Yenagoa, to meet with the Executive Secretary, and have had memoranda of understanding (MOUs) signed off.
The Man Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote
This week, particularly 26th September 2022, marked the sixth anniversary of the appointment of Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote as Executive Secretary, NCDMB. Until that appointment in 2016, he was Executive Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria Limited and General Manager, Business and Government Relations, Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN). A COREN-registered engineer and Member, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), the Executive Secretary holds an M.Sc. degree of Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, and a B.Tech. (Civil Engineering) of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (now Rivers State University), Port Harcourt.
Assumption of office as Chief Executive of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board was very much like natural progression, or something preordained by Providence. It was just where he should be – a sector of such huge potential for solid economic performance and national prosperity yet blighted in its entire history of over 60 years. As the former NLNG Chief Executive, Engr. Tony Attah, remarked above, “there is [perhaps] nobody else, at least in Africa, who understands Local Content more than he does.” And local content is a frontier where Nigeria could easily secure compensation for what is lost to mismanagement and corruption in the petroleum industry. As Engr. Wabote rightly remarked on the 10th anniversary of the enabling law of the organisation, “the NOGICD Act is oriented to reverse over 50 years of total foreign dependency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”
Retooling for Efficiency and Productivity
For a man who understood the terrain perfectly and what his mission was in public office, he had to begin in-house by appraising systems, strategies, and processes with a view to effecting appropriate adjustments. Processes had to be streamlined and, in some areas, automation was introduced. Whatever had the appearance of a bottleneck or red tape was eliminated. Reporting templates couched in problematic phraseology or of a complex sort had to be simplified to facilitate accuracy and timeliness of information from companies, while turnaround time in tendering processes was shortened. As the Chief Executive explained to staff, what he did was “reset NCDMB’s strategies and processes by making them smart enough to ensure timely approvals and eliminate service failure.”
As he undertook reorganisation in-house, he had to tour all parts of the country where productive and economic activities that fall within his brief took place. On those facility visits he had industry stakeholders on his entourage, signalling to watchers a defining characteristic of his style of leadership, that is, ever acting in concert with others of credible background. In his words, “Stakeholders deserve to be: to know where the Board is heading, the steps to get there, as well as our targets and milestones.”
In policy pronouncements made at various fora over a period the Executive Secretary clearly articulated critical elements of his primary focus as well as strategies to achieve predetermined targets. Major decisions of the CEO, from the last quarter of 2016 to date, are explicable in terms of the quote below:
“Our goal in the next 10 years is to push for a phenomenal growth up from the current 26 per cent to 70 per cent value retention by 2027. To achieve this target, we have to be more innovative to localise knowledge and industry activities, not just to increase local participation, but also to engender long-term competitiveness and sustainability, foster sectoral linkages and promote community participation for inclusive economic growth.’’
Nigerian Content 10-Year Strategic Road Map
Months into his assumption of office Engr. Wabote produced a working document to guide the activities and all undertakings of the organisation, indicating short-, medium- and long-term targets to grow local content in the oil and gas sector from 28 per cent in 2017 to 70 per cent in 2027. Such a leap forward in content performance would, by the projection, yield in-country retention of US$14 billion out of the US$20 billion annual industry expenditure, as well as generate 300,000 jobs. Faithful implementation of the blueprint would equally create and sustain linkages with other sectors of the local economy. Essentially, the “Nigerian Content 10-Year Strategic Road Map” charts the pathway to efficient and productive implementation of the NOGICD Act, 2010 over a space of 10 years.
The Road Map consists of five pillars and action points and then four enablers, as set out below:
Pillar 01: Technical Capability Development
Action point: Extend and deepen in-country technical capability in the oil and gas industry
Focus: Growth in in-country Capacities and Capabilities
· Number of Nigerians employed in high-value-adding activities in the industry
· Percentage (number) of contracts in high-value-adding activities awarded to Nigerian companies
· Quantity (and value) of Nigerian-made goods and services in the oil industry
· Number of strategic equipment/assets owned by Nigerians
· Number of new in-country developed solutions launched in the Nigerian oil and gas industry
Pillar 02: Compliance and Enforcement
Action Point: Ensure NC [Nigerian Content] implementation is enhanced through the mobilization of appropriate tools, policies and frameworks.
Focus: Increase in
· Local content level in the oil and gas industry
· Coverage of local content enforcement and compliance across the entire oil and gas industry
Enabling Business Environment
Action Point: Facilitate a commercially viable business environment that encourages increased sector investment.
· Reduction in aggregate cycle time of the Board’s touch points in the industry contracting process
· Increase in stakeholder satisfaction index
· Number of jobs and training opportunities created for Niger Delta youths
Pillar 04: Organization Capability
Action Point: Build effective internal structures in terms of people, skills, processes, and systems to support the Board’s operations.
· Increase in employee satisfaction index – function/organisation
· Increased depth in functional and industry knowledge of Board employees
· Increase in number of processes with documented policies and
· Board-wide process automation
· Effective utilization of zonal offices and digital channels
Pillar 05: Sectorial and Regional Market Linkages
Action point: Increase industry contribution to the National GDP and facilitate access of Nigerian-made goods and services to regional markets.
Focus: Growth in:
· Number of completed sectorial linkage initiatives
· Number and value of contracts awarded to Nigerian service companies in regional markets
Enabler 1: Funding
· Increase in the number of NCDF [Nigerian Content Development Fund] beneficiaries
· Increase in revenue pool and funding mix
· Achievement of financial autonomy of the Board
Enabler 2: Regulatory Environment
· Successful amendment of the NOGICD Act including the schedule to the Act
· Successful issuance/update of guidelines by the Board
Enabler 3: Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement
· Number of alliances and partnership institutionalized in the Board
· Number of NCCF meetings held annually
· Level of local content awareness (as measured by level of key stakeholder engagement)
Enabler 4: Research and Statistics
· Up-to-date and reliable data on in-country capacity and capability
· Up-to-date and reliable demand forecast data for industry inputs
· Issuance of quarterly reports on local content implementation in the industry
The scope of activities and outcomes in six years of the tenure of Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote is vast to the extent that only a medium-sized book would be able to do justice to it. The constraint of space in a medium of this nature necessitates a shorthand account in which highlights of activities/undertakings and results, arranged according to the categories of pillars and enablers, are captured.
Technical Capability Development:
1. Nigeria Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS)
The Parks scheme was conceived by the NCDMB Management back in 2012-13, during the tenure of the pioneer Executive Secretary, Dr. Ernest Nwakpa, as a means of effectively implementing an Equipment Component Manufacturing Initiative (ECMI) scheme. In a scientific study it was established that as much as 54 per cent of oil and gas industry spend goes into the procurement of equipment and materials from overseas, hence the decision to build the parks. Actual implementation began in 2018, with Management under Engr. Wabote.
The Scheme, which envisages five parks in different oil-producing states, is designed to “spur manufacturing of critical oil and gas equipment, tools and spare parts close to oil fields.” It is to advance a policy objective that seeks to ensure that “at least 10 per cent of the components of all equipment used in the industry are sourced, manufactured or assembled locally.”
Nigerian firms that had for decades served as representatives of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) overseas are expected to take advantage of the excellent facilities and stable power supply in the parks to set up their own manufacturing shops. Such firms would enjoy predictable workflow from the oil and gas industry and be free of such anti-investment activities as unwarranted harassment by state and non-state actors under one pretext or the other.
Two of the parks at Odukpani, Cross River State, and Emeyal-1, Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, are nearing completion. The groundbreaking ceremony for that at Odukpani took place on March 1, 2018, while that of Emeyal-1 was on April 27, 2018.
The NCDMB has created a special fund, the US$50 million NOGAPS Manufacturing Fund, to support companies that would operate in the two Parks at Emeyal-1 and Odukpani.
2. Project 100 Companies Initiative
The vision of Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote to pull indigenous operating and service companies from the fringes of the oil and gas industry to the centre, competing meaningfully with their international counterparts in every segment of the oil and gas value chain, gave birth to what is now known as Project 100 Initiative. It is an initiative that has seen 100 industry start-ups selected through a highly competitive and transparent process handled by Lagos-based KPMG, world-renowned management consultants.
For their incubation, maturation, and growth into “world-class service firms,” NCDMB focused on capacity building, adequate funding, and access to markets. Engr. Wabote pledged at the inception of the scheme that NCDMB would make the capacities and capabilities of the companies known to major project promoters and big Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Installation (EPCI) for consideration wherever business opportunities existed.
The NCDMB has thus been at the forefront of the drive for markets for Project 100 Companies, beginning with the NLNG Limited to which he made recommendations for the Companies in a letter entitled, Introducing Project 100 Beneficiaries for Consideration on NLNG Projects. The NLNG Management emerged with a decision that at least 50 per cent of the $10 billion Train 7 Project would be executed locally. Today, most of the Project 100 Companies rank as successful service providers in the industry.
Attesting to the astonishing success of the Initiative, the Chief Executive Officer, ZIGMA Limited, Mrs. Funmi Ogbue, stated: “The whole scheme is designed to make the Nigerian companies become the next Schlumberger or the next Halliburton.”
3. Facilitation of establishment of modular refineries
Pursuant to stipulations of its mandate, “to maximise the share and participation of Nigerians in oil and gas activities,” the NCDMB had to facilitate, through partnership and equity holding, the establishment of:
i. Waltersmith Modular Refinery and Petrochemical Limited (5,000 barrels per day), Ibigwe, Imo State
ii. Azikel Hydro-skimming Modular Refinery (12,000 barrels per day), Polaku Gbarain, Bayelsa State
iii. A Type-3 Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Composite Cylinder Manufacturing Plant (of 400,000 metric tonnes per annum), Polaku, Bayelsa State
iv. Methanol Processing Plant in Brass Free Zone, Bayelsa State
v. Ammonia Fertiliser Plant, Akwa Ibom State
vi. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Storage and Loading Terminal (of 168,000MT), Koko, Delta State
vii. LPG Cylinder Manufacturing Plant, Alero, Epe, Lagos State
viii. DUPORT Midstream Company (for establishment of an Energy Park comprising a 2,500 barrels per day modular refinery and Compressed Natural Gas facility), Egbokor, Edo State
ix. A 48,000-litre per day Base Oil Plant in Port Harcourt
x. Eraskon Nigeria Limited (lubricating oils blending plant), Gbarain, Bayelsa State
Each of the above investments – 30 per cent equity holding in each case – is a strategic intervention by the NCDMB to facilitate final investment decision (FID) and take-off of projects with significant potential for in-country value addition, capacity utilisation and job creation. The principle is, as the Management puts it, “Where investors seem hesitant, we come in to move them to cross the Rubicon.” That is pragmatic regulation.
4. US$50 R&D Intervention Fund
Research, as the NCDMB Management asserts always, is a critical success factor in the highly competitive business environment of today. The NCDMB Management, under Engr. Wabote, established the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council, and followed up with the creation of a US$50 million Nigerian Content Research and Development Fund (NCRDF).
5. Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund
Access to funds is prioritised by the NCDMB in its efforts to promote meaningful participation of service companies in value chain activities of the oil and gas sector. The Board created a US$200 million Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund, a low-interest facility, and appointed the Bank of Industry (BOI) to handle its management.
The Board seeks to drive down cost of funds and enhance “local supply chain efficiency and competitiveness.” As of 2020, about 90 per cent of the Fund had been accessed and utilised under the management and supervision of the BOI. The Fund was increased to US$350 in the third quarter of 2020. As of early 2022, over US$500 million has been dispensed under the Fund.
Among the many highly appreciative beneficiaries is Oilserv Limited, whose former Managing Director, Mr. Adegbite Falade, stated: “I must salute what the NCDMB has been doing and the giant strides that have been achieved in pushing the mandate of the NOGICD Act. In the course of the Board’s sensitisation programmes, we became aware of the NCI Fund…. We just had to follow the process and we were able to access US$10 million facility to support our business and the speed at which it was executed was part of what made us to feel it was a dream. The processes were concluded in 45 days.”
6. Sponsorship of Marine Cadets for International Certification
In partnership with a reputable organisation with requisite expertise, Charkins Maritime Offshore, NCDMB has sponsored 60 marine cadets to acquire sea-time experience overseas – in Singapore, Australia, United States, Malaysia, and China. The training and exposure aboard foreign vessels were for 12 months. They all received certificates of competence (COCs), which qualify them for major offshore/underwater operations in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and abroad.
4. Establishment of ICT Laboratories in 24 secondary schools in different parts of the country
Compliance and Enforcement
The NCDMB appointed seven Third Party Monitors with the requisite expertise for “specific and specialised monitoring and compliance functions” in the upstream, midstream, and downstream of the oil and gas sector.
Equally worthy of note was the engagement of chartered accounting firms for forensic audit of Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) remittances. Their work exposed irregularities in remittances involving several companies.
Enabling Business Environment
1. Service Level Agreement (SLAs)
In its bid to spell out how it seeks to conduct official business with other organisations, NCDMB introduced service level agreements back in 2017, expecting that operators and service companies, too, would be bound by applicable terms. SLAs guaranteed prompt and efficient response or action on all official matters. When the organisation concluded the processing of the Nigerian Content Plan and Letter of Intent for NLNG’s Train-7 project in record time, many in the industry were amazed. When it turned out that the experiences of other operators with NCDMB were same, it became clear to everyone that work ethics mean a lot to the regulator.
International oil companies (IOCs), under the aegis of Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), and Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), have also signed the SLAs.
The SLAs have drastically shortened durations of the tendering cycle in the oil and gas industry, from 36 months to nine months. Compliance has become equally impressive.
Operators and service companies in the oil and gas industry have been unstinting in their acclamation of the remarkable accomplishments of the NCDMB in its 12 years of existence, particularly under the Management of its current Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote. The industry players are unanimous that the Board has lived up to the billing, as expressed in its Mission Statement: “To promote the development and utilization of in-country capacities for the industrialisation of Nigeria through the effective implementation of the Nigerian Content Act.”
Country Chair, Shell Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, is among key figures of the corporate world who are highly impressed with NCDMB’s implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act. His words: “It’s been excellent. A lot of credit goes to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and its leadership, the Executive Secretary and members of the board, the Minister, who is the chair of the board. Also, I will like to give credit to the players in the industry. I think all round, we have all embraced this Act.”
Former NLNG Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Tony Attah, had this to say on how Engr. Wabote facilitated the US$10 billion Train 7 Project: “The Executive Secretary worked assiduously to ensure that Train 7 became real. Without his personal support and commitment, we may not have Train 7 today. Train 7 means 12,000 jobs directly and based on the Board’s calculation, it is 40,000 additional jobs indirectly.”
The NOGICD Act and its implementation agency, the NCDMB, stand out as excellent proof of what is achievable to our country when purpose and will power be in full expression. Purpose, in the shape of firm resolve to reverse the negatives of the oil and gas industry narrative, saw the Federal Government initiate the processes that culminated in the enactment of the aforesaid Act and creation of NCDMB. In the choice of its chief executive officers, purpose equally inclined the authorities to appoint highly competent and honourable individuals, namely, Engr. Ernest Nwakpa, who used to be the Group General Manager (GGM) of the Nigerian Content Division of the defunct Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and more recently, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote of SPDC.
In the success story of the NCDMB and its Management is a new reality, that in-country capacities and capabilities have surged to unbelievable heights that guarantee indigenous dominance of the almighty oil and gas sector in the foreseeable future. Domiciliation of industry activities has proceeded apace and there is systematic empowerment of local firms through strategic interventions by the NCDMB that has seen acquisition of cutting-edge facilities and technology, all inspiring renewed hope that the petroleum industry is a frontier of vast economic potential. There is a momentum that all industry watchers understand and appreciate, which must be sustained.
Esueme Dan Kikile, a lawyer, is the Manager Corporate Communications, NCDMB