Omatsola Ogbe is new Executive Secretary of NCDMB

Fri, Dec 8, 2023
By editor

Oil & Gas

 By Anthony Isibor

JUST a few months before the expiration of Simbi Wabote’s tenure as Executive Secretary, ES of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, President Bola Tinubu in a new development has announced the approval and appointment of Felix Omatsola Ogbe as the new ES.

Omatsola Ogbe takes over from Simbi Wabote, who led the NCDMB Board to deliver record breaking feats in Local Content in the country since 2016.

This is according to the statement issued on Thursday by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

President Tinubu has also approved the appointment of the members of the governing Council of the NCDMB.

Athough no reason was given for the sudden removal, the Presidency stated that Ogbe’s appointment aligns with Sections 71(1), 72, and 73 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010).

“To lead the board is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Oil, Heineken Lokpobiri; while the Executive Vice President for Upstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Limited, Oritsemyiwa Eyesan; the chief executive of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe; Bekearedebo Augusta Warrens; Nicolas Odinuwe; Rapheal Samuel; Sadiq Abubakar; and Olorundare Sunday Thomas will serve as members.

“President Tinubu expects this highly qualified body of experts to discharge their duties with his patriotic resolve to significantly enhance indigenous industry participation in the energy sector as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda’s mandate to achieve the goal of 70 per cent indigenous content and participation in the nation’s energy industry during the lifespan of this administration,” the statement added.

Realnews reports that Wabote’s exit as Executive Secretary comes earlier than expected as his tenure is expected to end in September 2024.

Realnews also reports that Wabote, whose removal comes at the hills of the just concluded Practical Nigerian Content, PNC forum, was reappointed to lead the Board for the a second four-year tenure in September 2020 by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Wabote’s numerous achievements as the Executive Secretary of the Board had been lauded by many stakeholders in the industry and top government functionaries.

In his welcome address at the just concluded PNC, Wabote stated that Nigeria has currently completed 83 percent of the 96 initiatives it started under the Nigerian Content 10-year Strategic Roadmap.

The 10-year Strategic Roadmap launched at the end of 2017 to increase Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry to 70% by the year 2027 has been a huge success with over 54% compliance already recorded.

Reflecting on the journey in the last seven and a half years of being in the saddle as the Executive Secretary, he expressed his gratitude for the wonderful support received across board to get this point in the country’s local content practice.

Under Simbi’s leadership, the country was able to complete 83% of the 96 initiatives under the strategic roadmap with focus now shifting to the remaining initiatives that require some heavy lifting to bring into fruition.

Similarly under the roadmap, the technical operations data in NOGIC-JQS shows that the number of registered industry operators moved from 53 in 2018 to 114 in 2023, representing about 100% increase. Within the same period, service companies increased from 8,000 to 11,000, while individual registrations increased from 140,000 to almost 400,000.

Certification of NC Plans increased from 178 in 2022 to 255 in 2023, while the approved NC Compliance Certificates dropped from 197 in 2022 to 168 in 2023.

Also, a total of 889 EQs were approved in 2022, while 179 EQs were rejected. The expatriate quota approval is trending down in the last five years.

This year, a total of 1,156 EQs were approved at the end of November compared to 889 approved in 2022. 328 EQs were compared 179 rejected last year.

The expatriate quota approval has been trending down from up till 2021 when it started an upward trend largely attributed to the post-COVID-19 business recovery, newly sanctioned projects such as Train-7, and the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, of 2021.

Under the Technical Capability Development pillar of the roadmap, there is also an increase in in-country fabrication capacity from 60,000tons per year to 250,000tons/year.

“Under this pillar, we have transformed two of our portfolio of NOGAPS sites from bare land to industrial parks to support in-country manufacturing and assembly of equipment and input materials required for exploration and production activities.

“While these two NOGAPS sites are essentially ready for commissioning, we are keen to operationalize it by having manufacturing activities in place which is scheduled for first half of next year.

“A total of 37 applications have been received for allocation of service plots and or shop floors so far and the process of allocation of serviced plots to manufacturers is in top-gear and so far, service plots/ shop floors have been allocated to six companies.

“At the moment, we have reached an advanced stage in our review of the Business Plans of intending tenants and another batch of allocations will soon be made.

“Under the strategic roadmap, we set up a dedicated $50 million fund to co-finance industry research and development activities.

“The Research and Development Fund led to the development of Amal Tech Smoke Alarm Detector Facility that we will commission next week in Abuja.

“We created Centres of Excellence for research and development in six Nigerian universities as well as created the Technology Incubation and Innovation Centre to incubate innovative ideas/startups.

“Seventeen start-up companies successfully concluded training at the NCDMB Technology Incubation and Innovation Centre, TIIC.

On Human Capacity Development, Nigeria has identified existing technical/vocational or craft centres and carried out intervention programmes to strengthen the institutions such as Government Technical College in Abak, Akwa Ibom State, GTC Port Harcourt, GTC Amoli, University of Ibadan, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State University, University of Lagos, Nigerian Maritime University, and many others.

The HCD programmes have enabled training and provision of sea-time exposure to marine cadets, underwater divers, boat builders, NDT Level-3 certified engineers,

ICT Intervention programmes in secondary schools in promotion of STEM education have remained very popular and in high demand with over 100 ICT and Science Labs completed to date. The teachers are not left out with almost 2,000 of teachers trained on STEM Education and use of K-YAN Device.

Under the roadmap, more than 7,000 youths have been trained in Bayelsa, Kano, Kaduna, Cross River, and Yobe states on GSM hardware repairs and software development.

“Regarding our Commercial Ventures portfolio, we partnered with Waltersmith to establish a 5,000bpd modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State. This year alone, the refinery has produced and sold over 170 million liters or about 3,000 trucks of petroleum products that would have been hitherto imported using our scarce forex. I am pleased to note that site works for the expansion of the refinery to 10,000bpd refinery commenced in September 2023.

“The three other modular refineries are being progressed to completion and start-up. For example, the financial close to get the remaining funding for Azikel Refinery is nearing completion with the great support from AFREXIM Bank. among others.”

Wabote who had also expressed concerns that the stagnation of the Nigerian Content achievement at 54 percent raised questions on whether we had reached a point of stagnation or an inflection, leading to the decline in Nigerian Content level in the oil and gas industry.

Expressing optimism, the NCDMB however called on all stakeholders to “play their part to prevent the industry from rolling back to the dark days of implementing Nigerian Content as a token of consolation noting that “getting the industry to this level of Nigerian Content was not a walk in the park,”


-December 08, 2023 @ 08:59 GMT|