The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has said that it only partners with strategic policies and projects that are promoted by the Federal Government and would not invest in oil and gas businesses that have competitive private players.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB,. Simbi Kesiye Wabote made the clarification when he hosted members of the Women in Energy Oil and Gas (WEOG) Nigeria, led by their President, Oladunni Owo at the Board’s liaison office in Abuja.
He clarified that the Board would not invest in competitive business areas because such investments would compromise its morale position as a regulatory agency. “Our role is to act as a catalyst of strategic government policies and programmes and we exit once those businesses become successful,” he added.
He also stated that NCDMB is a regulatory agency and not an interventionist organisation and would not get involved in programmes outside its mandate.
In line with the Board’s vision to serve as a catalyst for the industrialisation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry and its linkage sectors, it had partnered with investors in modular refineries, manufacturing of LPG cylinders, LPG Depots, gas processing facilities, lube oil production plant, and a methanol plant using gas as feed stock.
Speaking further, Wabote listed some policies introduced by the Board to support women in the oil and gas industry to include the inauguration of the Diversity Sectorial Working Group in the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) and the creation of the Women in Oil and Gas Product in the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund).
He explained that the Bank of Industry (BoI) is responsible for managing the NCI Fund, assessing applications and disbursing loans to approved companies. He said “the NCI Fund is one of the most successful loan schemes. About 98 percent of the borrowers are paying back because we go through a very rigorous process.”
Dwelling on the Project 100 Initiative of the Board, the Executive Secretary stated that it was designed to nurture 100 wholly owned oil and gas service providers in a competitive and sustainable way through targeted interventions, into larger scale players that create high impact.
He confirmed that some Project 100 companies are owned and managed by women and the participants were selected through a transparent process without recommendation from any quarters. The NCDMB chieftain also commended women for creating a forum to advance their cause in the oil and gas industry and counselled them against operating in splinter groups. “Do not see yourselves as rivalries because there are not even many women in the sector.”
While calling for the inclusion of more women in decision making positions, Wabote stated that the Board’s Governing Council and the Top Management Committee had implemented a policy of having at least one lady to ensure gender balance and provide unique perspectives in decision making.
Earlier in her remarks, President of WEOG, Oladunni Owo said the group visited the Board in furtherance of the International Women Day and to appreciate it for the laudable policies for women in the oil and gas sector. “This is very rare in Nigeria,” she said.