*Seeks Support for Projects Execution
One of the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the country, Chevron Nigeria has hailed the management of Nigeria’s apex local content regulator, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for its drive to partner with it to ensure the attainment of its mandate.
The firm also pats NCDMB on the back for pushing for an increase in crude oil production in the country.
In the same vein, it stressed the importance of producing crude oil at competitive costs, noting that the primary aspiration of oil companies and the Federal Government is to ramp up Nigeria’s crude oil production volumes and shore up the revenue accruing to the national coffers.
The Deputy Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria, Mr. Cosmos Iwunze stated this at the Nigerian Content Tower, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State when he led senior officials of the company to pay a courtesy visit to the new Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe recently.
Iwueze used the occasion to commend Ogbe for adopting what he called the “mantra of collaboration” and pushing to increase crude oil production in Nigeria.
The Deputy Managing Director stressed the need to incentivise investments in the oil and gas sector just as he explained that international oil and gas companies in Nigeria compete for capital with their sister operations in other oil-producing nations.
His words: “The capital we need for big oil and gas investments is domiciled with global investors. We need to always present Nigeria as an investor-friendly destination where people can come and do business.”
According to him, the company was working on some major projects, relating to deep water and Escravos gas-to liquids (EGTL) and he looked forward to receiving the board’s support and collaboration when the projects come for consideration and approvals.
Ogbe in his response restated its commitment to accelerated approvals of requests and documents submitted to it by operating oil and gas companies.
The NCDMB helmsman stated that the goal is to ensure speedy development of oil and gas projects and contribute to increased oil production and improved national economy.
He conveyed the board’s willingness to improve on the timelines set by its Service Level Agreement (SLA), Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and IOCs for shortening the contracting cycle for oil and gas projects.
He reiterated his proposal for the setting up of technical working groups (TWGs) between the representatives of the NCDMB and respective IOCs.
The NCDMB helmsman explained that the working groups could meet monthly or quarterly to evaluate the companies’ expectations from the NCDMB on their projects.
According to him, the intent is to resolve contentious issues, close all the gaps and come to an agreement before the official correspondences are received. That will ensure quick turn-around and approvals will be dealt with quickly and that will help to cut downtime.
While emphasising the need for all oil and gas companies to comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, Ogbe promised that the board will accede to cogent urgent requests from companies to avoid delays that could cause costs overruns, impact negatively on oil and gas operations and the economy at large.
He encouraged the companies to see NCDMB as partners in progress, adding: “we want to create the enabling environment that will minimize conflicts with IOCs and attract investments into the sector.
“We want to create employment opportunities for our youths and help achieve the economic objectives of President Bola Tinubu. We want to make international oil companies comfortable and reverse the exit of foreign investors because they create jobs and we need all hands on the deck”, he said.
He disclosed that he had long and successful career with Chevron Nigeria and remarked that the hallmark of the company is teamwork. He noted that NCDMB operates with the same core value hence the board is determined to support oil companies to accomplish their operational goals.
“We have to make sure that you succeed otherwise we will not be successful,” he added.
Ogbe confirmed that NCDMB under his watch will not emphasise the use of sanctions, rather will seek to dialogue with companies to achieve win-win situations.
“We will be flexible regarding your requests but we all need to have open minds and look at the critical paths that will ensure that we make progress and produce effectively,” he said.
NCDMB Director, Planning Research and Statistics, NCDMB, Mr. Isaac Iyallah in his remarks at the occasion hailed Chevron Nigeria for supporting the board’s development of the Nigerian Content Research Centre of Excellence at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Ondo State.
He affirmed that the board will continue to collaborate with Chevron Nigeria on other projects and would address any issues relating to requests for expatriate quota approvals.