Government deplores export of oil jobs to China by multinationals

Written by on July 6, 2021

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), yesterday, raised concern over the export of oil and gas projects to China.

Although extant regulations mandate the retention of 40 per cent local content in oil and gas projects in Nigeria, NCDMB’s Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, who spoke at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja, asserted that there has been a running battle with some International Oil Companies (IOCs) that preferred exporting jobs.

He added that about $100 million had been recovered from firms found evading statutory dues accruable to the board. Wabote said: “We have been in a constant battle with some of the IOCs, which believe that the only place to carry out their jobs must be China and not Nigeria. I’ve said it several times. Nobody can compete with the Chinese, not the Europeans, not the Americans. You cannot compete with them when it comes to cost, but I think for a country you’ve been around for almost 50 years, you should plan to develop it.

“We sincerely believe in balancing cost in whatever we do, but for those who argue about cost, you must also balance the cost discussion with stability in a country where you have perhaps 35 per cent unemployment rate and mainly youth population. What will you benefit if you take the job to China.”

In 2010, the Federal Government established the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, with the NCDMB as the implementing body. The initiative was aimed at considering competent indigenous firms for execution of jobs in the sector.

The NCDMB boss recently said about $9 billion had been retained from the average $20 billion being spent in the oil and gas industry yearly due to the implementation of the legislation, while local content implementation rate was put at 32 per cent.

Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water, Total E & P Nig. Limited, Victor Bandele, said his company has in the last few years invested $10 billion in Nigeria, stressing that there was need to take the Nigerian content to the rest of Africa through intra-African trade.

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