Ernest Nwapa, executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), has stated that many Nigerians are no longer interested in acting as agents for foreign partners, but “were investing alongside their partners, learning how to manage the business and operate complex equipment, repair and even do research and development.”
Nwapa stated this recently at the commissioning of a workshop established by Benkline Nigeria Limited, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for the repair of oil and gas pumps, refurbishment and refitting of mechanical seals, gear boxes and associated equipment.
He also noted that implementation of the Nigerian Content Act has attracted a new crop of Nigerian investors who are no longer satisfied with playing second fiddle roles to expatriates, but rather determined to commit huge resources in owning hi-tech assets and facilities to be used in executing projects in the oil and gas industry.
Nwapa commended Benkline for successfully partnering with OEMs-Frank Mohn AS of Norway and Eurofiliases of France to deliver hi-tech services in the industry, adding that the board was promoting the same policy under its Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme, as a strategy to get OEMs to work with small and medium enterprises and mentor them to manufacture some of their components.
He challenged international and indigenous operating companies to patronize Nigerian service companies who set up facilities, adding that government was committed to support every investment that is made in-country.
The executive secretary reiterated that the value of new investments made by Nigerian service companies in the last four years had hit $5bn, noting that the development pointed to massive investments that would come into the industry in the next five years.
Larry Osai, chairman, Board of Directors, Benkline Nigeria, tasked Nigerian investors to partner with persons and firms that can contribute resources and knowledge so as to grow their companies and leave legacies.
He also commended the company’s partners for buying into the Nigerian Content Policy and helping Benkline maintain a good presence in the oil and gas industry, adding that the new workshop will close the gap in the quality service maintenance of rotating equipment.
Osai attributed the company’s growth to the government’s local content policy, stating that “they put a legislation in place and left it in the able hands of NCDMB under the leadership of Ernest Nwapa. He has not only pragmatically delivered on the mandate, but he is religiously committed to it.”