The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigerian Navy on Wednesday agreed to collaborate closely to enforce the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act in maritime operations.
The NCDBM said in a statement that this would be done by curbing the use of non–compliant and non–categorized vessels and intercepting illegal vessels and non–compliant crew members on oil and gas locations.
The two organizations would set up a high-level committee that would work out detailed modalities for the collaboration and enable both organizations to accomplish their respective mandates.
These decisions were reached during the visit of the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo in Abuja.
According to the Executive Secretary, the Board receives alerts regularly via its whistle-blowing portal and would like to investigate such information and recommend genuine cases to the Navy.
Other possible areas of collaboration include support to the Board in assessment visits to vessels and provision of information to the Board on vessels and tankers plying the Nigerian waters and oil and gas locations.
Wabote indicated that the Navy is well situated to drive the security aspect of the industry’s operations, particularly in securing the nation’s shores against piracy and illegal oil bunkering.
He said the Navy’s role was critical because the bulk of Nigeria’s oil and gas reserves lie along the coastal areas of the country including major infrastructure and plants for hydrocarbon processing and exports.
He also commended the Navy for its efforts in promoting Nigerian Content, notably by engaging the services of indigenous engineers and service companies in the fabrication and maintenance of Navy boats, thereby boosting local content in the industry.
He highlighted the need for closer ties particularly because of the Board’s long-term vision to increase Nigerian Content levels in the oil and gas sector from the current level of about 40 percent to 70 percent by the year 2027 as part of the Nigerian Content 10-Year Strategic Roadmap.
The Executive Secretary identified the Board’s Marine vessels development and categorization strategy as one of the core initiatives that would support the actualization of the 10-Year roadmap.
The goals of the Marine vessel initiative are to promote the construction and maintain vessels in Nigerian yards, stimulate ownership of marine vessels by Nigerian entities, grow flagging & registration of vessels in Nigeria, deepen Nigerian manning of marine vessels, and develop world-class ship repairs and shipbuilding yard.
He reported that the Board had made progress in the various aspects of these objectives such as support for the acquisition of marine vessels by Nigerians via the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund managed by the Bank of Industry (BoI), provision of sea-time training for marine cadets, patronage of in-country dry-docks, and the completion of the feasibility study and site selection for the proposed development of shipyard.
Listing some of the achievements of the Board in the past five years, Wabote stated that it had begun the first phase of developing the Brass Island Terminal in Bayelsa State. And, the facility would carry out repair and maintenance of large ships and vessels such as LNG LNG carriers, VLCCs and maritime equipment such as jack-up rig vessels.
In his comments, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu lauded the Board for the numerous achievements it had recorded in implementing the NOGICD Act and pledged the support of the Navy in deepening stakeholders’ compliance with the NOGICD Act.
He also sought the assistance of the Board in upgrading the naval shipyard in Lagos, particularly the slipway.
While highlighting the Navy’s milestones in research and development, the naval chief sought the Board’s collaboration in improving the Navy’s R&D capabilities as well as creating a market for their products in the oil and gas industry.