Uche Usim, Abuja
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu on Thursday explained that the recently-launched Project 100 seeks to develop next-generation large scale Nigeria oil and gas service companies through structured capacity building and policy intervention.
The is as the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) says it has earmarked $50 million for Research and Development (R&D) in its efforts to take local capacity to the next level.
Speaking at the unveiling of the initial 60 beneficiaries of the project in Abuja, Kachikwu said the programme, driven by NCDMB, also seeks to identify, recognize and nurture wholly owned indigenous oil and gas services providers into large scale players that will create high impact in the economy in terms of job creation, technology development, wealth creation, and other local content indicators.
He said: “Essentially, we want to produce made-in-Nigeria cars, fly made in Nigeria airplanes, vessels and other vital technology needed to drive a 21st century nation. That’s the ultimate vision of this project. Nigeria should take the lead.
“I told my team we must realize project 100. It’s about innovation and thinking ahead. So, myself with the NCDMB Executive Secretary have always met and discussed this. We’ve so many things we need to do within a short time. We need to roll out these programmes as fast as possible”, he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote said the project aims to look holistically look at 100 wholly indigenous oil and gas companies and nurture them to the next level. “We would enhance their capacities, support them financially through the NCI Fund and help them find opportunities in the industry, in collaboration with the NNPC and NAPIMS. It’s in our interest as a country to support companies operating in the oil and gas sector so that they can create jobs for our teeming population.
“We selected the companies transparently from our platform -NOGICJQS with the assistant of KPMG and there would be another phase of selection in the coming weeks”, he explained.
Wabote said the NCDMB platform has 8,000 service companies, but noted that 2,527 of them were active.
“It was from this we started the selection process and some had to drop until the first 60 companies were picked.
“I never got a call from the Presidency or top politicians to pick anyone. Applications of multi-stake criteria pruned down the number. You needed to upload good data within two weeks to even stand a chance. Those who didn’t meet up with two weeks due to some infractions and poor quality of data upload fell by the side. I hope other companies learn from this.
“We have also discovered that 80 per cent of needs of these companies is non-financial. It’s not about poor access to finance even though we’re ready to tackle it. We also have another financing model we want to launch next month in addition to the $200 million domiciled with BOI.
“What these companies need is policy intervention, strategic business/technical support, access to market etc, to promote local capacity development”, he added.
The NCDMB boss said it has secured Customs import waivers for companies wanting to import equipment for modular refineries in the country.
He also disclosed that the Board has set aside $50 million for research and development for deepening local content.
The beneficiaries of the project include; high impact oil and gas service providers, geosciences and seismic services, marine services, engineering services, fabrication and construction services, logistics services, among others.