I love Nigeria and am passionate about it. Interview with Engr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary NIGERIAN CONTENT DEVELOPMENT AND MONITORING BOARD

Tell us about the workshop you just had in Lagos?

The workshop was about  enlightening stakeholders  on the new platform  and was designed in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Content Fund , all the operators, service

providers,  The Content Fund had been upgraded and change, so we needed to enlighten them  on how to do their remittances, because we realize that the remittances were going down because they didn’t
understand how to use the software  and then the second part of the workshop was on  Forensic auditing, You know since the inception of the Board in 2010, the Acts mandates operators and contractors  in the up stream sectors to pay one percent  of every contracts that is awarded to them  to the NIGERIAN CONTENT DEVELOPMENT FUND  and we have realized that  some of them have not been remitting the funds as stipulated by Act so we called them together to enlighten them  of ourintent to carry out our  forensic audit  of all the funds that are out there, so that’s the essence  of the workshop, it was well attended ,ninteractions and feedback from the workshop is going to be implemented.

There was this report that some IOCs  and even NNPC  were breaching the  Nigerian Content Act,  whats  your reaction to this. The Senate is said to be probing this.

The Senate enquiry is a recurring decimal  as the Legislative arm of government , they also try to act as Policemen to ensure that people are not flouting the law , that report came as a result of the visit of Senate committee on local content  to FCC Factory, cause FCC are directly reported to them that they were not been patronized by the IOCs and NNPC  they decided to investigate the veracity of the claim by the FCC, ITS AN ONGOING PROCESS. Since the inception of the Board the National Assembly have been interested in the activities of the Board to find out compliance with the law and the Act and as such with the view to strengthen the law further.

People are happy with the way you are carrying on with the assignment as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Board what has been your driving force and motivation.

First my driving force is being a Nigerian and secondly a Nigerian worried at lack of employment in the country which is bedeviling the youths population , as we have , so  its how to make sure that we create opportunity for these youths to create jobs for them , most importantly also is how to protect investments that are in the country that is producing about  two million barrels per day of oil. My  driving force is to create opportunity for Nigerians to create jobs for Nigerians ,

Engr Simbi Kesiye Kabote Executive Secretary NCDMB

because nobody will build this country than us.Am  passionate about Nigeria, I love this country, it has youth potentials that has not been tapped , so how do we ensure that we tap

into those potentials and given the people the opportunity to
participate in the oil and gas sector and again I believe as person  I like to do my job diligently and I like to deliver value anywhere I find myself so these I grew up with and maintain in any position I find myself throughout my 27 years of my career.

What had been your challenges…..

Challenges, of course include infrastructural challenges  are there in the country, in as much as you want to strive for industrialization of Nigeria, you are also inhibited by some of the infrastructural challenges , road network, rail network , power infrastructure is a challenge , the other is lack of sectorial  linkages  where  you have other sectors of the economy not firing at the same cylinder as you are in the local content  on one hand you are pushing for the Industrialization  of the country on the other hand  other people are pushing for more tax,  the other challenge is the nature of the oil and gas business , when you think there is strong capacity and no work coming through because of the rise and fall of oil price, it also atimes dampen ones  moral .

Am aware you are a technocrat, are you atimes 
under pressure from Politicians.
Of course it’s a normal occurrence  and when you have one or two pressures here and there  from Politicians but I think what I realize is that once they know what you stand for, once they know that  you
abide by the rules  and you follow your processes they go off. Those pressures only come to stay if they believe that you have the capacity to bend the rules, the pressures are there but the process that has
been established is what  we used to ward off some of these pressures.
Talking about political pressures.
In a nutshell what has been your achievements so far both to
Individual and to the country in general.
  I cant  put it in a nutshell , because that would be too small.  The achievements had been tremendous  in terms of what we had  done  in the last couple of years, increase the local content attainment in the
country both  from less than 5 percent to  86 percent today in terms of local content attainment , a world class fabrication  yard had sprung up,  you have manufacturing capacity that had been developed ,
you have people manufacturing paints , manufacturing cables, manufacturing pipes, today we have been able to integrate  FPSO  in the country  not too many African countries can boast of that.
Today almost 85 percent of the contracts in the country are warded to Nigerian companies, today Nigerians  are managing oil fields successfully too, so the achievements  has been tremendous, they are just too many.  For the individual there had been achievements in terms of employment creation.  Because of the drive and the attainment so far a lot of Nigerians had been employed , we have built a lot of capacity for employment, as I said almost 85 percent of the contract awarded  in the oil and gas sectors are awarded to Nigerian companies. Nigerians have built a lot of capacity on the back of local content
drive, we have retained five billion ($5b)  out of the  $20 billion annual industry spent .
How  has other African countries keyed in the
Local content in their countries.
Nigeria  has become a reference point  in terms of local content development in Africa , we have been having series of visits from various African countries  wanting to come and study and understand
how we have been able to drive local content to this level , we are constantly been invited to seminars workshops to share our experiences, other countries are working to borrow a leave from
Nigeria  because they believe it’s a model that has brought  some level of prosperity to our country and they are looking forward to sharing our experiences  with us as well as want us to help them in
their local content attainment.
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