Nigeria:Eboh, Deepening local content development must go with capacity growth, certification
- 30 November 2020 / Analysis / 185 / Emerging Africa
The Managing Director of Mudiame International Limited, and Mudiame Welding Institute, Prof. Sunny Eromosele Eboh, in this interview with KINGSLEY JEREMIAH, said the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) needs to stay the course in order not to lose focus of its primary objective of developing in-country capacity in terms of human resources and facilities for the oil and gas sector. He also urges the government to consider extending the local content development initiative to other sectors of the economy.
However, I think this was because they have been in the oil and gas industry for over 50 years. With the efforts put in, and efficient monitoring by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), I can say that the situation is a little bit okay. So, kudos to the NCDMB executive team, starting from the first executive secretary who ensured that oil companies complied with the act.
Let me add that there are lots of successes in terms of our constitution and the roles that Nigerians are playing today in the sector, as the act has also opened the door and allowed Nigerians to play major roles in the sector. That alone is a very great success recorded so far.
To some extent, that has also added to the conservation of foreign exchange because, in the past, everything, including fabrications and disposals were done outside the country, and a good number of personnel, especially experts were brought in from abroad, and everything was manufactured abroad while only installations were carried out in the country. With local participation, we have saved about $10b over this period from our local manpower contribution
We have also saved a lot of money from exchange retention in the country, but we can do more if organisations come up with more strategies to ensure that we have the requisite know-how in the country. That said, let me stress that knowledge acquisition and capacity development should be seriously encouraged.
So, if we want to expand the Local Content Act to other sectors of the economy, then it would be okay to reference that building as an example. But for me, developing human capacity should be NCDMB’s priority because it has all the infrastructure in place already to monitor the initiative. In that regard, you cannot compare an investment in human capacity development to anything else.
It is important to note that it is not only NCDMB that is into this sort of thing, many government institutions are involved in deviating from their mandate to other things despite the laws making provisions for their means of sustenance. The main problem in this regard has always been their inability to think outside the box. Their managers should encourage capacity building and more local participation to retain some of these benefits. If they want to have more money, they should do proper monitoring, ensure that revenues are collected, and also make sure that contracts don’t go outside the country because some of these contracts are still going to firms outside this country
Different agencies appear to be playing the role of empowering and training manpower in the oil and gas sector.
The Federal Government must spare no expense in ensuring that Nigerian products meet international standards. Except that is done, we will continue to have a lot of our products rejected across the world. We have a lot of opportunities in the free trade zone that is coming very soon in Africa, but how prepared are we? Without international best practices, we go nowhere. I think the government has to look into that. In the oil and gas sector, we have registered about 70-80 percent success but we are struggling in other sectors
Analyste: Sunny Eromosele EbohThe Managing Director of Mudiame International Limited, and Mudiame Welding Institute...
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