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The Guardian’s Special Focus on Leading Champions of Local Content Driving Nigeria’s Economic Growth

By Guardian Nigeria
07 October 2022   |   4:45 pm
Over the last twelve years, Nigeria has grown to master the practice of local content, to the extent of mentoring other resource-rich countries such as Uganda in promoting their own industries. Nigeria is one of the few countries to have enacted a primary regulation dedicated to it, with a broad objective to domicile a share…

Over the last twelve years, Nigeria has grown to master the practice of local content, to the extent of mentoring other resource-rich countries such as Uganda in promoting their own industries. Nigeria is one of the few countries to have enacted a primary regulation dedicated to it, with a broad objective to domicile a share of the US$18 billion average annual spending on exploration and production by IOCs. Nigeria’s pursuit of local content has greatly facilitated the growth of local service providers and contractors. It has also fostered a mutually-beneficial relationship between international and local companies.

Signed into law in March 2010, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Development Act gives Nigerians the opportunity to be considered in the awards of oil blocks, oil field licenses and oil lifting licenses under its emphasis on increased entrepreneurship and domestic assets. The law set a target to increase the use of indigenous labour, materials and resources to 70% in all oil and gas projects in the country, as opposed to the previous 28%.

To strengthen the Act, the Executive Order 5 was created to improve local content and promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy with preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007. The Order also prohibits the Ministry of Interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.

DORMAN LONG ENGINEERING LIMITED:  Building Enduring Engineering Capabilities for Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa

Established in 1949, Dorman Long Engineering Limited is a leading Oilfield Equipment, Structural Steel, Marine Structures Engineering, and Fabrication Company in Nigeria.

With over 70 years of engineering excellence, Dorman Long has contributed to the nation’s industrial and infrastructure development with steel fabrication and erection services. Historic landmark projects in which Dorman Long has been involved in include the Niger Bridge which crosses from Delta State into Anambra State at Asaba/Onitsha. The company has also provided structural steelworks for many Industrial buildings constructed from the 1950s to early 1970s in Ikeja, Lagos State and Trans-Amadi Industrial Estate, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Today, Dorman Long continues to play a leading role in meeting the needs of the Oil and Gas, Telecommunications, Power sectors, and other heavy industries by providing a ready local supply of international standard products and services which previously could only be obtained as imports.

Presenting an insight on the impact of Local Content on the Nigeria’s Engineering/Oil & Gas Sector, the company believed “Employment generation – direct and indirect jobs of Nigerians increased astronomically within the period when the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act was enacted. Equally, skill acquisition, technology transfer and capacity building have improved significantly. Domestication of spending on raw materials and services has been a great relief – reducing the need for scarce foreign exchange and a face-saving measure during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak with the attendant shutdown of businesses worldwide.

In the same vein, Dorman Long has benefited from Local Content especially in term of facilities upgrade which is a key derivable benefit of the NOGICD Act. That has improved capacity, enhanced capabilities in meeting high calibre O&G projects, like FPSO & Wellhead platform construction.”

Concerning NOGICD Act’s backward integration and repositioning Nigeria as the truly leading economy in Africa, the company noted that “Without any doubt, there are certain highly technical fields that require special skills/specific expertise, as well as huge investments that are yet difficult to access by indigenous firms. However, the Act has been addressing these challenges in the areas of high technical skills which are being tackled through Human Capacity Development Programs and continual certification of understudies of expatriates to an internationally acceptable level, while NCDF loan is being given at single digit to various companies in need of funds.”

Regarding the assessment on compliance by multinationals, indigenous companies, other key stakeholders in Nigeria, Dorman Long affirmed that “the compliance level is now increasing remarkably.”

According to the company, “Strategic approach to address obvious challenges, and fast track economic development, wealth creation for the nation include ensuring availability of O&G projects for Nigerian companies in order to increase capacity utilization in various industries, discouraging importation of finished goods into the country and providing incentives to local manufacturers of components. In addition, provision of infrastructures and uninterrupted power supply to reduce high energy costs are of compelling necessities.”

MONI PULO LIMITED A Trailblazer in Nigerian Local Content 

One of the pioneer indigenous Oil and Gas Exploration Companies, Moni Pulo Limited (MPL) has been reputed to be a trailblazer in the area of local content while developing its operational efficiency to international standards and has acquired greater expertise as the sole operator of its OML 114 asset. 

As a positive and creative response to the Nigerian government’s initiative to stimulate and promote indigenous participation in the nation’s Oil and Gas Industry, Moni Pulo Limited was founded and incorporated by the very revered late High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs, OON, DCF, DSSR in the year 1992. 

Adjudged to be one of the best indigenous upstanding corporate citizens in full compliance with governmental operational and fiscal regulations for the sector, Moni Pulo Limited operates on the core values of excellence, integrity, team spirit and social responsibility. 

The Nigerian local content, being the bedrock on which Moni Pulo Limited was founded, our benefactor and founder, the late High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs believed implicitly that there is no limit to the level of professionalism and excellence that Nigerian companies engaged in the oil and gas industry, cannot achieve. 

The current Chairman, Dr. (Mrs.) Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs, has over the years shared this belief and holds it tenaciously as she transmits the same to the Board of Directors and Management of the company. This is visibly reflected in the company’s daily operations. MPL’s corporate mission is to be a beacon of hope to succeeding generations of indigenous industries. 

To this end, it is worthy of note that even before the coming into force of the NOGICD Act 2010, MPL had already completed its technology transfer plans and can boast of having a totally indigenous workforce for more than a decade. After the enactment of the Act, the company’s Nigerian Content Desk was identified with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and its guidelines by seeking to learn more about the implementation of the Act. MPL is committed to ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Act. In line with the Nigerian Content directives, Moni Pulo Limited has constantly organized in-house exhibitions and sensitization for its members of staff, contractors, business associates and vendors from inception. 

The objectives of the exhibition/workshop amongst others include: 

  • Refreshing participants’ knowledge of the objectives and expectations of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) thus reducing the incidence of non-compliance. 
  • Enhancing the use of in-country human and material resources during project implementation and execution. • Showcasing indigenous contractors and their successes.
  • Enlightening contractors, subcontractors and vendors on their role in deepening indigenous participation in the oil and gas value chain.  
  • Imbuing participants with the ethos of transparency, accountability and good governance. 

MPL in her operations over the years have continued to increase value-added content for growth to national economic development through the utilization of Nigerian human and material resources/services. Further, MPL substantially encourages investment in the oil and gas industry for the growth of the local economy, with the following: 

  • Human and material patronage 
  • Employment, 
  • Social development, 
  • Local content partnerships 
  • Support for in-country manufacturers, 
  • Technology knowledge transfer 

In compliance with the provisions of the NOGICD Act with regard to research & development, MPL established the Professorial Chair in Petroleum Geosciences at the University of Port Harcourt in 2019. Similarly, in the area of human capital development, we have over the years, under the supervision of the NCDMB, trained several Nigerians in Health Safety & Environment, specialized skillsets such as Structural Welding, Pipeline Welding, etc, with national/international certifications and they are currently doing well within the industry. 

These have stood us in good stead because we have consciously and consistently invested in the development of our people thus widening the pool of qualified and experienced indigenous professionals available for the Oil and gas exploration and production industry. 

In relation to our host states and communities, MPL has continuously initiated and executed programmes that will make the lives of the people better and ultimately drive Nigeria’s economic growth. These initiatives have so far included capital and health care projects, artisan training programmes, empowerment programmes, micro-credit schemes and annual scholarship awards for students from our host communities particularly, at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We adopt the strategy of participatory development which enables us work in partnership with the host communities and where appropriate, with government, community-based organizations and other stakeholders, to identify, plan, implement and monitor projects according to agreed timelines. 

Despite the socio-economic challenges that we, like everyone else have had to weather, we have continued to invest in the development of the Nigerian local content and by extension, the nation. MPL, under the leadership of its Chairman, Dr. (Mrs.) Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs understands the importance of education to any developing nation like Nigeria and the need for corporate organizations to partner with the Government to provide quality education to its citizenry; thus, quite very recently, on the 27th of September 2022, we took this cause further by the establishment and commissioning of a fully furnished ICT Centre at Community Secondary School, Unyenghe, Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. This we believe will enhance the capacity development of the students. 

Clearly, Moni Pulo Limited has over the years fully embraced the work of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board because we believe its guidelines will broaden the meaningful and sustainable involvement of indigenes in the critical areas of the nation’s the exploration and production industry. We have done and will continue to do this given that our work is ultimately about people, the men, women, youths and children of this nation. Yes, they matter a lot to us and it is for this reason, we will continue to commit to their well-being, development and the local content irrespective of the challenges that may exist. A wise man once said “the best hope of solving all our problems lies in harnessing the diversity, the energy and the creativity of all our people.

OILSERV LTD: At the Forefront of Local Content Development in Nigeria

The Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development Act came into effect over 10 years ago. Indigenous EPCIC giant, OILSERV Limited, continues to play a dominant role in the development of Local Content in Nigeria.

Oilserv ventured into the Pipeline EPCIC business in Nigeria at a time when it was an exclusive reserve of multinational contractors like Wilbros, SAIPEM and others. Oilserv did the unthinkable by competing in this exclusive space and has since become the company of choice for EPCIC projects in Nigeria with a track record of delivering Turnkey projects which have contributed significantly to the growth of oil & gas pipeline infrastructure in Nigeria.

Some of the projects executed using top-notch quality, safety standards and the latest technologies include:

  • The Greater Lagos Gas Distribution Network System (Phases 1, 2 3 & 4; Gaslink Nigeria Limited).
  • The National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) Lot 1 & 2 (NDPHC); Oron Gas Transmission Pipeline System (SEPTA Energy).
  • Akute Independent Power Project (with associated gas delivery pipeline system) for Oando Gas and Power.
  • The South-South Gas Transmission Pipeline System, 18-inch x 128km with Gas City Gate and PRMS (East Horizon Gas Company Limited).
  • The Gas Pipeline Transmission System for Geometric Power Plant with the associated Metering System (for NGC).
  • Complete Upgrade of Ikeja Metering Station for NGC.
  • Fabrication and Installation of Ebubu-Ogale Oil manifold for SPDC, the largest of its type in Nigeria.
  • 48-inch x 127km OB/OB-OBEN Gas Transmission Pipeline (OB3 LOT B Project), the largest pipeline in Nigeria with the associated Gas Treatment Plant (GTP) which is the largest of its type (capacity of 2 billion scf/day).

OILSERV is currently executing the NNPC-sponsored Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project; The Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation, Testing, and Commissioning of the first segment of the 614 km x 40-Inch Gas pipeline, which is from Ajaokuta to mid-way between Abuja and Kaduna. 

The information available to us shows that OILSERV has achieved significant progress in a spate of time including ongoing construction and welding activities even in the face of the security challenges around the vicinity of the project. Indeed, the company is a novelty within the realm of capacity development of indigenous companies in the Oil and Gas service sector. Some other major achievements recorded are:

Human Capital Development and Training

Oilserv Limited has sustained the proud initiative of the human capital development and training scheme for many years which entails training of young graduates (Graduate Training Scheme (GTS) and non-graduates (Technical Training Scheme (TTS) in various fields of operation in the Oil/Gas sector of the economy.

The scope of Oilserv Group Graduate training scheme includes; Project Management, Quality Control/Quality Assurance, HSE, HR, ICT, Planning/Control, Engineering etc. while the Technical training scope include but not limited to Automatic welding, Manual welding and fitting, Rigging activities, Basic equipment maintenance/assets training, Horizontal directional drilling operation, operation of heavy-duty equipment like excavator, forklift, crane, swamp buggy, side boom, boom truck, back how etc.

On 3rd July 2014, Oilserv received a certificate of commendation from NCDMB and Septa Energy (Now Seven Energy) during the graduation ceremony of Oron Gas Pipeline Project Graduate Engineers training programme held at Swiss International Mabisel Hotel, Trans-amadi, Port Harcourt. Engr. Rotimi Olagbaya of NCDMB, commended Oilserv as the first company ever since the inception of the NCDMB to have driven this training programme. The maiden technical trainee graduation ceremony was held on January 19, 2016.

Oilserv has always proven to not only take compliance seriously but also as a way of doing business. This was clearly evident in a process that led to the retention of two (2) out of the three (3) trainees from NCDMB in 2020. Beyond meeting the requirement for sponsoring the trainees to obtain IADC certificates, Oilserv went further to retain 2 trainees which is a strong testament to the exceptional training process Oilserv has put in place.

Recently, the Company also welcomed 29 Engineering and ICT Graduate Trainees to the 2022 OILSERV Ingenious Graduate Trainees to the Oilserv family. This again demonstrated the Company’s dedication to Local content development. Oilserv is providing graduate trainees with the platform to nurture their skills and develop them into world-class Engineering and ICT professionals. Each Ingenious Graduate Trainee will have the opportunity to work alongside the brightest and most experienced minds in the industry and on projects that are changing the narrative in Nigeria and Africa.

Through the Ingenious Programme, OILSERV gears them up for future challenges and careers in the global environment helping them become the future of the Engineering and ICT Industry in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. 

So far, over 300 persons have been trained and deployed to projects. Those who could not get a placement in the company due to space availability are certified to enable them get jobs elsewhere.

Research and Development

Oilserv Ltd in collaboration with the Nanotechnology Research Group, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka is currently promoting the vigorous campaign for Research & Development in Nigeria since 2014 via full sponsorship of the 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th African Nanotechnology Conference & Workshop organized by the UNN Nano Research Group with the theme ‘’ Application of Nanotechnology to Energy, Health and Environment. The event gathers professors from around the globe, key government officials and captains of industry who share their wealth of experience via insightful presentations, interactive forums and workshops aimed towards the development of Nanotechnology in the oil & gas industry.

Nanotechnology has been widely used in several other industries and can be very significant in the Oil and Gas sector as well. Adding Nanoparticles to fluids may significantly benefit Oil/gas operations, Pipelines & facilities, Manufacturing of pipeline materials, cleaning of oil spillages etc.

Vendor/Supplier/Manufacturer Development

Local Content is also reflected by using locally manufactured goods, Nigerian vendors and sub-contractors which create jobs within the communities where they operate as well as in-country retention of funds.

In 2020, as part of OILSERV’s commitment to ensure that local content thrives, the Company partnered Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Co Ltd (IVM) for the conceptualization, manufacturing and use of vehicles for oil and gas operations; and Oilserv being an indigenous company at the forefront of local content promotion in the country, placed orders for vehicles worth over N600 million in the first phase of the deal. With this singular effort, Oilserv set a worthy example for many Nigerian companies to follow, especially by extending the scope of the multi-million-naira transaction into a business partnership. In summary, between 2020 and 2022, OILSERV spent the sum of N2.2B (2,201,692,925.23) on vehicle purchases, spare parts and vehicle maintenance services with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Limited.

In-Country Fabrication

Oilserv is at the conceptual stage of her world-class fabrication yard to be utilized for fabricating equipment as well as skills development. The fabrication yard when completed would be a significant milestone in Oilserv’s quest for achieving effective implementation of the Local Content Law, securing more efficiencies in procurement costs thereby giving more value to stakeholders.  

Recognition by Nigerian industry associations and Media

Oilserv continues to be recognized by industry associations and the media as a key contributor to Nigerian Content Development, e.g., a Certificate of commendation by NCDMB and Seven Energy for successfully conducting a four-month intensive training program for 23 graduate engineers in Onshore Pipeline Engineering, Construction and Project Management on the Oron Gas Pipeline Project 2014

Capacity Development Award by PETAN 2016

PETAN Appreciation award for promotion of the growth of Nigerian Companies and entrepreneurs in the Petroleum Industry through sponsorship of Nigerian Participation at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022.

Award of Excellence by the Nanotechnology Research Group of the Physics Department, University of Nigeria Nsukka 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021.