By Ikenna Omeje
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has tasked the media to engage in investigative journalism to expose non-compliance of players to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.
The General Manager, Corporate Communications & Zonal Coordination of NCDMB, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah, gave the charge at a Nigerian Content capacity building workshop for media stakeholders, hosted by the Board in Lagos with the theme, “Sustaining Nigerian Content amidst Shifting Energy Landscape: The Role of the Media.”
Represented by the Manager, Corporate Communications, Barr. Naboth Onyesoh, Ginah said that the NCDMB since inception sees the Media as one of the important stakeholders for the Board in its implementation of the NOGICD Act.
He explained that the 2021 workshop was the 3rd consecutive edition, which confirms that the event has become a major activity in the Board’s annual calendar, stressing that this is because of the critical role that the Media plays in Nigerian Content development and propagation.
“Beyond the critical role of promoting Nigerian Content activities and sensitizing the public about the imperatives of local content to national development, we expect the Media to promote local content agenda and carryout whistleblowing role by exposing non-compliance activities by some players in the industry through investigative journalism,” Ginah said.
“From the inception of the NCDMB in 2010, we identified the media as one of the most important stakeholders for the Board in our implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.”
According to him, the Board’s strategic implementation of the Act has received several commendations nationally and even internationally, including the award it received in the second quarter of this year as the Best Media Friendly Organisation in Bayelsa State at the 8th edition of the Bayelsa Media Awards
As the world pushes towards cleaner energy, there are concerns that fossil fuel may become irrelevant in the near future, but Ginah while touching on the theme of this year’s workshop, said that the world will witness energymix or redistribution rather than outright swarp of fossil fuel for the renewables.
“At the NCDMB, we believe very strongly that the world will witness energymix or redistribution of energy rather than outright swarp of fossil fuel for renewable energy. However, what is more important is how we react to this emerging development. NCDMB has aligned itself completely with the declaration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Timipre Sylva) that gas is Nigeria’s transition fuel,” he said.
He further explained that in the Board’s effort to operationalize the Decade of Gas policy of the Federal Government, it has engaged in several interventions in the gas value chain, which cut across LPG storage terminals and jetties; infrastructure for gas gathering and injection into pipeline networks; CNG facilities; and manufacturing of composite LPG cylinders.
Ginah noted that the engagement of the Board in developing commercial oil and gas ventures which is a regulated space, is in line with the Section 70 (paragraph 8) of the NOGICD Act, which mandates the Board to assist local contractors and Nigerian companies to develop their capacity to further attain the goal of the Nigerian Content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. He added that most of its partnerships are oriented towards promoting or realizing strategic policy of the Federal Government in the petroleum industry.
In his presentation on “11 Years of Monitoring & Evaluating Nigerian Content Implementation: Lessons Learnt So Far” , the Director Monitoring & Evaluation, NCDMB, Mr. Akintunde Adelana, said while discussing the ecosystem of implementation tools that there are 73 operator companies, 7,075 service companies, and 224,872 individual registrations
He listed some of the achievements of the Board to include 42 percent average Nigerian Content level, 40 percent Nigerian owners of marine vessels, pipe coating, 120,000 MT per annum fabrication yards, and 5,000 modular refinery at Ibigwe Imo State.
Represented by the Manager, Capacity Building, Monitoring Directorate, Mr. Dan Esueme Kikile, Adelana said that through an understudy programme, the Board has been able to address expatriate quota issues, which helps to ensure that in areas where there no capacity in-country, a Nigerian can takeover after a period of 4 years.
Adelana disclosed that over 275 non-compliances have been discovered, which have been dealt with by the Board.
He outlined refusal by some companies to adhere to the NOGICD Act; inadequate collaboration among stakeholders in the industry; overlapping of tasks by various government agencies; non-submission/late submission of statutory reports; non deployment of NCDMB personnel on critical projects to ensure strict compliance; inefficiency of inter-agency collaboration; inadequate coverage of projects due to shortage of manpower; deployment of expatriates without NCDMB approval; refusal to ‘Nigerianize’ expatriate position after the statutory 4 years as provided under the act, among others as challenges.
Adelana called on the media to engage in investigative reporting and expose non-compliances to the NOGICD Act by some of the players in the industry.
Also speaking at the workshop, the General Manager, Research, Statistics & Development, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu, said that there is a nexus between R&D and GDP. Citing available data, he said that the U.S, China, Japan, Germany and India account for $44.49 trilliion or 52.6 percent of the global GDP of $84.54 trilliion.
Noting the value levers of R&D, he said that it helps to create start-up companies as source of new employment, improve technology adaptation, increase retention of R&D spend, and ensures energy security.
“The five Implementation pillars of the local content recognize the role of research and development. Beyond having the right regulatory framework, which we do under the NOGICD Act; beyond doing gap analysis to understand where you are and where you want to be as a country, as an industry; and beyond building capacity and providing incentives for the local supply chain to be able to access capital, to be able to reduce their per unit cost of production by operating commercial ventures, by operating oil and gas parks and so many other enablers, you also need to create enabling environment for R&D to thrive. As a government, you have a role, you have to provide leadership. That is exactly what we are doing,” Halilu said.
He noted that in addition to the $50 million the Board has provided for R&D, it is working to attract more funding for R&D from Africa Export-Import Bank and other institutions.
Speaking on “Positioning for a Top Career in the Media & Communication Industry”, the Former Editor of Punch Newspaper, & Former Commissioner of Information & Strategy, Commissioner for Tourism, Art & Culture, Lagos State, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, encouraged journalists to build themselves by acquiring relevant skill sets that will keep them relevant as they move up the ladder in their career.
In his presentation, Prof. Diri Teilanyo of the Department of English and Communication Studies, Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, who discussed evolving media trends, highlighted the the differences between traditional media and the new media.
He identified inadequate training , unverified information, inadequate sub-editing, going to the press without hearing from all sides to a story, as some of the challenges confronting new media.
Telilanyo noted that while new media has taken a prominent position in the media space, ethical issues which include fake news, hate speech, plagiarism, photoshopping, often arise.
He encouraged journalists to do due diligence in ensuring that they verify information gotten from social media before using it for news content to avoid litigation.
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