The Bayelsa State Government on Tuesday called on the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) to ensure that, the Nigerian Content Policy is translated into the creation of employment opportunities, particularly for Bayelsans to reflect the state’s contributions to the development of the national economy.
Governor Seriake Dickson made the assertion, while declaring open the 4thedition of the 3 day Nigerian Practical Content Conference with the theme, “Achieving Nigerian Content in Today’s Operating Environment”, at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Yenagoa.
According to him, the government is willing to work with the board to explore areas of collaboration on a number of the state’s developmental initiatives such as the education and agricultural sectors to advance the cause of human capacity development in creating skills and jobs for the people.
In his words: “By next year, I will be interested in the statistics of how many local content jobs that have been created for Bayelsans. I say this, because while it is good to talk about Nigerian Content, as Governor of Bayelsa State and knowing what our people have gone through, and Bayelsa; now being acknowledged as the headquarters of the local content development, I’m sure my good friend Ernest Nwapa and the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources will also be interested in the Bayelsa Content. So, we are actually talking about two contents; you have the larger Nigerian Content and then for us here, we are also interested in the Bayelsan Content.
“In essence, when we assemble here again by next year, we should be able to tell Bayelsans the practical benefits of our new found and rightly deserved position as the headquarters of Content Development in Nigeria.”
While applauding the Federal Government for its efforts in creating employment for Nigerians, through the instrumentality of the local content policy, the Governor described the initiative as second to none.
Citing the ongoing Pipeline Mill project at Polaku in Yenagoa local government area as one of the benefits of the local content policy, he expressed government’s desire for the early completion of the project to ensure that young men and women were gainfully employed.
Governor Dickson also commended the board for its efforts, stating that, its plans for the construction of a befitting secretariat among other initiatives would go a long way in enhancing the physical infrastructure and open up new vistas of opportunities for the state.
In her keynote address, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. DiezaniAlison Madueke, said four years into the implementation of the Local Content Law, it has become a crucial aspect in the execution strategies for every activity in the oil and gas industry.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Jemila Shuara, the minister highlighted some of the benefits arising from the implementation of the Nigerian Content policy, which she said has witnessed “rapid growth in indigenous capabilities, including increased capacity of engineering design companies.
Recounting the achievements of the board, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa, noted that in the past 4 years, the Nigerian Content Law passed by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has transformed the entire oil and gas industry and the national economy.
While commending the Bayelsa State Government for creating the enabling environment for the conference, Engr. Nwapa added that, the implementation of the law has afforded Nigerians the opportunity to play key roles in all spheres of the industry such as provision of logistics, servicing of facilities, humancapacity building and marine support.