The Practical Nigerian Content has been concluded (PNC 2017) #PNC2017. The NCCF featured as one of the 10 panel discussions, specifically Session 8, with the theme “Insights from the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF)”. The panelists include, Akintunde Adelana (Director Monitoring and Evaluation at the NCDMB), Dr Timi Austen Peters (Chairman, Fabrication SWG), Vassily Oye Barberopulous (Chairman, Materials and Manufacturing SWG) and Engr. Kashim A. Ali (President, COREN) duly moderated Mr. Mina Oforiokuma (Chairman, Shipping and Logistics).
The following questions were asked to guide the panel discussions;
- Since its inauguration, how has the NCCF how has the NCCF developed Nigerian Content?
- What plans are in place to create a platform for information sharing of upcoming projects and local capabilities to avoid repetition of existing capacity development initiatives
- How can international OEMs be attracted to domicile its operations, driving investment and spurring technology transfer
- Are the indigenous service companies currently attractive to investors?
- How can JVs between foreign entities and Nigerian government agencies increase local capacity in the downstream?
The Director MED, Mr. Akintunde Adelana reeled out some of the achievements of the NCCF that has shaped some of the policies of the Board. He mentioned the efforts of the Finance, Legal and Insurance SWG and how they have worked on some of the statutory reporting templates of the Board, thereby improving monitoring activities of the Board. He stated that, some of the proposals were still at the developing stages like the Education and Training, Engineering SWG which the Board is looking forward to implementing soon after review.
The Chairman Fabrication Dr Austen Peters in his response stated that for his SWG they have taken an audit of the capacity and capabilities of Fabrication businesses in country. This he said would enable the Board and the industry know to what extent fabrication can be done in country to allow businesses project given the status of fabrication in country.
The Chairman fabrication stated that information sharing has been at the core of what the policy of the Board. He noted that some of the groups are working on EPC Unbundling in the industry that would enable smaller EPC businesses to grow by gaining experience, necessary man hours and build capacity.
The Chairman Fabrication did not mince any words on this. He stated that Nigerian companies have remained unattractive despite the huge profitability that exists in the industry for local companies. He associated this to the strategy of most Local companies with very poor governance structure, this he stated is due to “pops and moms” business mind-set of the average Nigerian business man. In other words, the business owner would rather do everything himself or use family members at the expense of professionals in running the business. He also stated that investors avoid low volume business transactions which local companies are often able to do or sometimes it is just sheer scepticism by the OEMs. Another problem he identified was the contract life time in Nigeria. That OEMs prefer contracts with long life span than a contract that would be concluded within just a year or there about.
He however proffered some solutions for SMEs to attract OEMS to include;
- Making jobs/opportunities available for businesses that are profitable by the industry stakeholders
- That the Local Content Policy should be improved and sustained
- Companies should be encouraged to put their governance structure in order, as a matter of fact the Board needs to pay attention to companies with poor governance structures
- sanctity of contracts should be preserved as much as possible, this he said would engender certainty and would allow big businesses invest
- That small companies should look into the possibilities of forming conglomerates by collaborating to take on big jobs they hitherto would not be able to execute individually.
The Chairman Materials and Manufacturing SWG Mr. Vassily Barbaropoulus stated that, there is at least $6 Billion investment opportunity in the oil and gas industry. He however stated that, to take advantage of this huge opportunity that exists, planning is very essential because it helps to set timelines and make projections. He also advocated mentorship by the IOCs to businesses considered not directly related to the industry but are critical to the growth of the industry. He wants the relevant stakeholders in the manufacturing industry to be involved. That leadership is key to success towards this end there has to be a level of seriousness attached.
The moderator and Chairman Shipping and Logistics stated that, partnership between government and businesses should improve capacity through the following
- Proper management of water ways and inland water ways
- NNPC being the largest user of shipping and pipeline systems, should borrow a leaf from its counterparts in Malaysia, Brazil etc. to take leadership in investment in shipping industry
- he stated that JVs created during the military era were near perfect as it resulted in companies like Bonny Gas Transport company etc. for which the NLNG has invested
- he advocated building capacities of seafarers
The Moderator lamented the fact that Nigeria/Nigerians are yet to reap the true benefits of JVs in marine transportation. He prayed the NCDMB to ensure that the NNPC places emphasis on local capacity on the back of downstream shipping.
The Director MED in his closing statements informed all that NCCF has become a formidable platform that has helped the Board in eliminating counterproductive ventures. That a compendium of opportunities in the oil and gas industry has been compiled and can be found on the NCDMB website showing a database of in country opportunities, he gave an example of opportunities existing in the Dangote refineries. He stated that the NOGIC JQS has been relaunched and strengthened and ready for the industry, which will be sustained. Finally, that the Board is developing a Performance Matrix to show case NC performance, skills and compliance with a certificate issued to give such companies more visibility in the industry.
Zuwairat Asekome, Coordinating Secretary of the NCCF.