I am very delighted to deliver this Ministerial Address at the 9th Annual Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) Forum organised by CWC Africa in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCBMD) with the theme ‘’Leveraging Local Expertise for Market Growth & Expansion’’.
The Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) Forum has consistently provided a platform for Policy Shapers, Captains of Industry and Major Stakeholders across the entire Oil and Gas Value Chain to convene and discuss at the highest level and find solutions to the most important issues surrounding Nigerian Content implementation. It further provides the opportunity to discuss the keys to unlocking the industry’s potential through effective Nigerian Content development, deployment and implementation.
In its 9th Edition and the very first that I am headlining as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) Forum has consistently reached it foundational objectives and and I want to sincerely commend the Management and Staff of NCDMB for making it such a high value event, where oil industry stakeholders gather annually to review the successes, opportunities and challenges of Local Content implementation in the Industry.
I understand that this is the second public event to be held in the conference hall of this magnificent 17 storey building. In touring this edifice during my first working visit to NCDMB a few weeks ago, I pointed out that the building project had gotten to the level that it is today as a result of the strong and purposeful Management team, led by the Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote. I am proud to say we now have a World Class Conference Centre right in the heart of the Niger Delta and I applaud NCDMB for this testament of an impressive performance record.
While we applaud the exceptional work done by the wholly Indigenous Construction Company, Megastar Technical and Construction Company Limited, our overwhelming appreciation must go to President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and the Federal Executive Council for the gracious and timely approvals which helped to speed up the completion of this project.
This building serves as a strong attestation of Mr. President’s love and commitment to the development of the Niger Delta Region and I look forward to bringing him to commission this edifice in no distant time.
Hence, I will like to ask multinational oil companies and their indigenous counterparts to take a cue from NCDMB and engage more local contractors in various projects in the oil and gas industry.
While we support and encourage the patronage of local contractors, it must be emphasized that the local vendors have an obligation to deliver premium services and support the Federal Government’s avowed strategy of using Local Content to drive down the cost of crude oil production, increase the contribution of the oil sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and guarantee the security of oil production.
In order words, we must not allow Local Content to become an excuse for cost over runs, slippages in project delivery schedule or shoddy jobs.
As key stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, we must be aware that the entire country is looking up to our sector for increased revenue earnings to fund annual budgets and develop critical infrastructure.
For this reason, we must all be genuinely concerned that our cost per barrel of Crude Oil is one of the highest among OPEC countries. While we can easily reel out reasons for this anomaly, the reality is that this high cost of production often erodes our net revenue from crude oil sales and depletes the resources meant for development.
We must therefore take practical steps to ensure that we curtail the various elements that contribute to the high cost of production.
At the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, we are proud of Nigerian Local Content achievements in the oil and gas sector. We are delighted at the various capacities and capabilities that have been put in place since the enactment of the Nigerian Content law.
We are also proud that these achievements are well recognized in the continent to the extent that some African countries like Kenya, Congo Brazzaville, Uganda, Gabon and Angola have come to Nigeria in the past for mentorship and peer assistance on Local Content practice and implementation.
As you might recall, this Administration had taken strategic steps to entrench Local Content implementation beyond oil and gas through the Presidential Executive Orders 03, 05 and others.
We are also aware of the recent pledges by the Local Content Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives to extend the Nigerian Content Act to other key sectors of the economy. This is because we can all see the benefits so far realised from the implementation of Nigerian Content requirements in the oil and gas industry.
As I conclude, permit me to share with you the key priority areas we will be pursuing in the Ministry for Petroleum Resources under my watch.
They include the Eradication of smuggling of PMS across Nigerian Borders; the Completion of Gas Flare Commercialization Program; Increase of Crude Oil production to 3 million barrels per day and Reduction of the cost of Crude Oil production by at least 5 percent.
Other priorities include; the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill; Increase of domestic refining capacity and implementation of the amended Deep Offshore & Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act.
The key outcomes of these priority areas will be Job creation and Poverty Reduction, which are the cardinal aspirations of the Next Level Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government.
Ladies and gentlemen, I ask for your maximum support and cooperation to achieve these priorities and other plans we would unfold in the course of time.
Let me reassure our partners and stakeholders of our commitment to the promotion of a fair and robust business environment for the private sector participation and growth. For all of us gathered here today because of our love, belief, and duty for the Nigerian Content, I want to specially recognise and appreciate you for your steadfastness.
I thank you for listening and wish you an enjoyable stay in Yenagoa, Bayelsa. I hereby declare open, the 9th Annual Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) Forum.
CHIEF TIMIPRE SYLVA