Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has tasked new Governing Council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on strengthening local content for growth of the oil and gas sector.

Sylva made this known at the inauguration of members of the Governing Council, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

He further charged the council to develop policies to ensure the growth of the capacity of indigenous oil and gas operators.

The minister said that the NCDMB’s 10-year Strategic Roadmap launched in 2018 was a key compass to ensuring that Nigeria derived more value in-country from its hydrocarbon resources.

According to him, the roadmap targets that by 2027, it will achieve 70 per cent Nigerian content level in the oil and gas industry.

The minister said Nigeria must look inwards to explore all the opportunities to further diversify and insulate the economy from external shocks.

He said that this was necessary in the midst of so much uncertainty around COVID-19 pandemic and instability in the world oil markets,

Sylva urged the governing council members to align with the 10-year strategic plan of the NCDMB and help improve the fortunes of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

“I want this goal to be achieved so that we are able to domesticate petroleum refining, domicile manufacturing of industry requirements, extract value from gas, and position Nigerian operators and service providers at the fore-front of play in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors of the industry.

“I, therefore, call on the incoming members of the NCDMB governing council to do all they can to ensure that the set target is met by supporting the ongoing initiatives and by laying the foundation for the upcoming initiatives during your tenure.

“I want your decisions to be sound, timely, and in tune with the Next Level agenda of Mr President which is largely underpinned by the creation of jobs for Nigerians. I do not doubt that you will deliver on these expectations,” he said.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, said the COVID-19 pandemic had revealed that there were existential threats.

He said that the ability of a country to cater to its people in a safe and secure environment was inversely proportional to its level of reliance on importation.

“Most nations diverted their products to their use while others wait for any crumbs that fall off the table. The importance of local content in any nation cannot be overemphasised and the COVID-19 experience of many nations is an eye-opener.

“Our reflection is that we are not fully at our destination but the situation could have been worse if not for the NOGICD Act.

“We are set and we are looking forward to the next decade of NCDMB with a sense of purpose to deliver on our mandate.

“We need the support, and indeed look forward to the backing of the governing council to make this goal a reality,” he said.

The News Agency of (NAN) reports that the new members of the council are: Mrs Peace Oyanbo Owei, who is the first female to be on the NCDMB council, and a representative of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Engr. Sarki Auwalu, representative of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Engr. Farouk Sa’id, representative of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Others are Mr Olorundare Thomas, representative of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and Mr Nicolas Odinuwe, representative of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN).

The members were inaugurated for a four-year tenure. (NAN)

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