The use of Nigerian firms in the ongoing Train 7 of the Nigeria liquefied Natural Gas project saved the country $2bn, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr Simbi Wabote, has said.
Wabote stated this at the award of African Local Content Icon, from the African Leadership magazine, in Yenagoa.
Wabote dismissed the assertion that the Nigerian content policy was costly, adding that this was a ploy by foreign interests to blackmail the nation.
The NCDMB boss was quoted to have said, “The Nigerian content policy saves costs.
“From the projects that the NCDMB have supervised, it is clear that it is better for the International Oil Companies in Nigeria, but foreign interests at global levels erroneously say that local content is expensive.
“Before the move to increase the participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas sector, the participation was at about three per cent and previous administrations relied mostly on taxes and revenue and lost sight of the opportunities for Nigerians to get involved in the sector.”
He added, “From the oil sector where I am coming from, it is five times more expensive to pay an expatriate than a Nigerian. So, how can they say that local content is more expensive?
”On the Train 7 project, if you look at the cost provided by foreign companies, you have a wide gap of about $2bn from the quotations of the lowest submitted by foreign firms and the highest from Nigerian companies.
“So local content is better as we ensured that quality was not compromised.
“From 2010 till now, we have come a long way; for instance, NLNG had 90 per cent of the workforce as expatriates, but today, 90 per cent of the workers are Nigerians with some even occupying top positions in foreign oil firms.
“I am thankful to President Muhamadu Buhari, who gave me the opportunity to practice local content in the public sector, by appointing me in 2016 and reappointing me in 2020.”
On the African Local Content Icon Award bestowed on him, Wabote said he was pleasantly surprised.
The Managing Editor of the African Leadership Magazine, Mr Kingsley Okeke, said selection process for the award was transparent.