NCDMB to Fast-track Approvals, Submissions From Oil, Gas Firms

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has restated its commitment to accelerate approvals of requests and documents submitted to it by operating oil and gas companies.

The goal, according to NCDMB, is to ensure speedy development of oil and gas projects and contribute to increased oil production and improved national economy.

This was made by the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Mr Felix Omatsola Ogbe, at the Nigerian Content Tower, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State when he received senior officials from Chevron Nigeria Limited led by the Deputy Managing Director, Mr Cosmas Iwueze.

The Executive Secretary conveyed the board’s willingness to improve on the timelines set by the Service Level Agreement (SLA) instituted by the Board, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and international oil companies for shortening the contracting cycle for oil and gas projects.

He reiterated his proposal for the setting up of technical working groups (TWGs) between the representatives of the NCDMB and respective international oil firms. The working groups could meet monthly or quarterly to evaluate the companies’ expectations from the NCDMB on their projects.

He said the intent is “to resolve contentious issues, close all the gaps and agree before the official correspondences are received. That will ensure quick turn-around and approvals will be dealt with quickly and that will help to cut downtime.”

Emphasising the need for all oil and gas companies to comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, the Executive Secretary promised that the Board will accede to cogent urgent requests from companies to avoid delays that could cause costs overruns, impact negatively on oil and gas operations and the economy at large.

“We want to create the enabling environment that will minimize conflicts with international oil companies (IOCs) and attract investments into the sector. We want to create employment opportunities for our youths and help achieve the economic objectives of President Bola Tinubu.

“We want to make international oil companies comfortable and reverse the exit of foreign investors because they create jobs, and we need all hands on deck.”

Mr Ogbe revealed that he had a long and successful career with Chevron Nigeria and remarked that the hallmark of the company is teamwork.

He also noted that NCDMB operates with the same core value, hence the Board is determined to support oil companies to accomplish their operational goals. “We have to make sure that you succeed otherwise we will not be successful,” he added.

The Executive Secretary confirmed that NCDMB under his watch will not emphasise the use of sanctions, but rather will seek to dialogue with companies to achieve win-win situations.

“We will be flexible regarding your requests, but we all need to have open minds and look at the critical paths that will ensure that we make progress and produce effectively,” he added.

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