Investors should utilise over N1.2bn investment opportunities by NCDMB —Expert

Mrs Funmi Ogbue is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Principal Consultant, Jake Riley Ltd, organisers of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) 2019. In this interview by OLATUNDE DODONDAWA, she outlines the need for foreign and indigenous investors to take advantage of the NOGOF and invest in the oil and gas sector.

 

CONSIDERING the investment apathy rocking the global space, do you think Nigeria is a good choice for oil and gas investors at this time?

Nigeria is one of the top 10 crude oil producers in the world and has some of the largest reserves of oil and gas with lot of it still undeveloped. Yes, I think Nigeria is a good place to invest, particularly as Nigerians with the participation in local content.

With 30 per cent of the annual spend in country which is being projected to be 70 per cent in the next eight years; certainly, there is a lot of potential for return on investment in the Nigerian oil and gas in the industry.

The Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has a lot of initiatives to drive investment into the oil and gas industry, opportunities will open to investors in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, at the forthcoming NOGOF 2019.

Especially with the new NCDMB’s headquarters, the Nigerian Content Plan (NCP) for NLNG’s Train 7 project estimated to cost $1 billion, the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) launched to provide funding support to local service companies, amongst other initiatives.

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Specifically, what is unique about Nigeria as an investment destination?

Nigeria is the premier investment destination in Africa with a population of about 200 million people. There is an excellent return on investment and with the federal government’s reforms and drive to grow the economy, a significant increase in the ease of doing business has been recorded; there is increasing investors’ confidence and we believe Nigeria is unique as an investment location.

 

Can you comment on some benefits that investors stand to get from investing in Nigeria’ oil and gas industry?

Excellent return on investment, strong government support, and young workforce that is eager to work and grow. There is a remarkable implementation of the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (Local Content Act) with the construction of the Egina Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO).

Another benefit of investing is NOGICD Act 2010 which includes integrating oil producing communities into the oil and gas value chain, fostering institutional collaboration, maximizing participation of Nigerians in oil and gas activities, linking oil and gas sector to other sectors of the economy.

 

Would you say that NCDMB has done enough to deepen and broaden local content in the industry?

Yes, I will say NCDMB has done well in that aspect. This is because since the inception of NCDMB, the board has been committed to promoting and building local capabilities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The enforcement of the provisions of the local content act in the oil and gas industry has also led to some key achievements for the board. Some of these include establishment of fabrication yards, engineering houses, pipe mills, pipeline coating yards, cable manufacturing and several others too numerous to mention.

The NCDMB has urged investors interested in the manufacturing of gas cylinders, burners, regulators, lighters, or in the provision of other services in the gas value chain to take advantage of the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, managed by Bank of Industry, for the provision of loans to oil and gas service providers.

The NCDMB creates linkages to other sectors of the national economy and boost industry contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s National Gross Domestic Product, promote the growth and development of Nigerian Content in activities connected with sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas Industry and increase indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry, build local capacity and competencies through the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund.

Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachickwu will give the keynote address, and His Excellency, Governor of Bayelsa state, Dr Seriake Dickson will deliver a special address. We are also expecting Dr Makainti Baru, the GMD of NNPC to deliver a paper. The Managing Directors of oil companies will present opportunities in their companies, interested companies can participate in.

NOGOF 2019 will begin on Wednesday, 3rd of April 2019, with pre-registration and a welcome barbecue at the Pond Park, Royal Tulip Castle Hotel (Government House). On the 4th of April, we will start the fair at 9am at the new Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board Headquarters Oxbow Lake, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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