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Content board to commission forensic audit on NCDF

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Simbi Kesiye Wabote. PHOTO:SweetCrudeRepors


Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has unveiled plans to commission third-party forensic audit, to track and recover due payments on the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF).The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, who made this disclosure in Lagos recently, therefore tasked oil and gas companies on the remittance of NCDF deductions.
  
The NCDF is underpinned by Section 104 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, which provides that the funds be used for developing capacity in the oil and gas industry. Subsection 3 of Section 104 also provides that “the fund shall be managed by the Nigerian Content Development Board and employed for projects, programmes and activities directed at increasing Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry.
  
Speaking at a meeting with members of the Indigenous Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), Wabote said they were products of the Nigerian Content Policy; hence they needed to work with the Board to take the implementation to the next level.He stressed that the Nigerian Content Act was not applicable to only foreign companies but to all players in the oil and gas industry. “Some Nigerian companies assume erroneously that being wholly indigenous make them complaint. But Local Content extends to employment, procurement, training among other things.”
  
Wabote further challenged the indigenous producers to partner with the Board to develop Research and Development Centres of excellence in-country so that problems encountered in their operations can be resolved locally. “The international operating companies have huge R&D facilities in their home countries. We can only set up R&D centres in Nigeria with the support of indigenous producers.”
  
Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of IPPG, Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, pledged that the association would henceforth support and comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.
  
To cement the association’s commitment, he disclosed that the local operating companies will sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the NCDMB, and this will guide the submission and management of statutory reports between both parties.
  
The new SLA is akin to the type signed between the Board and the Nigerian LNG Limited (NLNG) in May 2017, and will commit IPPG members to compliance with the Nigerian Content Act, while the Board will keep to a definite response time for reviews and approvals of contracting documentations. The SLA will take into consideration the capacity of the indigenous producing companies and provide necessary concessions as may be necessary.
  
The independent producers also promised to partner with the Board to equip the Petroleum Technology Development Fund’s Vocational Training facility in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for the purposes of imparting key skills that are currently lacking in the industry.He said: “We want to participate in the Nigerian Content journey and we are ready to engage with the Board to take our projects to the next level.”
  
He further explained that IPPG was constituted by 25 indigenous operators, including joint venture partners of the NNPC, marginal field operators, and indigenous sole risk operators.He informed that “we ensure corporate governance among ourselves, help to put a respectable face to indigenous producers and offer government a credible platform to engage. We account for between 12/25 percent of Nigeria’s crude oil production.”


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