Members of the Senate Committee on Local Content have commended the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for conceiving and developing its 17-storey headquarters building in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, using the services of a local contractor.
The committee members gave their commendation during a recent oversight visit to the Board’s office and major Nigerian Content locations in Bayelsa and Rivers States.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Adeola Solomon Adeola spoke after the group undertook a tour of the building site and he applauded the overall quality of execution. He added that when completed the building would meet the present and future needs of the NCDMB. “The project will also meet the expectations of all Nigerians, especially those in the oil and gas industry.”
He also hailed the Board and its main contractor, Megastar Technical & Construction Company Limited for the speedy and professional development of the project. “I am happy that we have a project of this magnitude being executed by a Nigerian company. The most interesting part of this project is that it is local content driven.”
The Chairman of the Senate Committee, Upstream Petroleum Resources and member of the Local Content Committee, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, also described the new building as a wonderful initiative, which would contribute to the development of Bayelsa State and the entire oil and gas industry.
Also speaking, Senator Dino Melaye noted that project would save the economy huge costs in the future. “I commend NCDMB for projecting into the future. Eventually, the building might not even meet the needs of the Board and the oil and gas industry. We need to develop similar projects in many other sectors and locations.
On the implementation of the Nigerian Content, Senator Adeola said the Board’s efforts have helped to attract investments into the economy, develop human capacities and technology in the oil and gas sector. He stated further that the Nigerian Content aims to promote empowerment and employment of indigenes and facilitate technology transfer in order to expand the local economy.
He assured that the committee would continue to add value to the Local Content initiative, increase the impact and enforcement of the NOGICD ACT and work with the NCDMB for a greater fulfillment of its mandate in the overall interest of all Nigerians.
He added that “the committee has commenced the review of the NOGICD ACT 2010 to increase its relevance to the current industry realities and more importantly to expand its scope to cover other industry such as ICT, telecom, manufacturing, extractive industry among others.”
In his welcome remarks, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote stated that the Board’s 17-storey headquarters building would be a source of pride to indigenes and residents of the Niger Delta region. He confirmed that only eight floors would be used for office space, while one floor would host an oil and gas training centre of excellence. According to Wabote, some operating and service companies have already indicated their interest to rent some of the floors and proceeds from such lease would be used to maintain the building. He also said that the structure would utilise electricity generated from an independent power plant being developed by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Bayelsa State.
In his response to questions by the lawmakers, the Executive Secretary clarified that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved an increase in the project’s budget, because of the huge fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates, which greatly affected the costs of inputs.