A joint Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, and Media meeting held today the 3rd Day of September 2015 at Ajuji Hotel Abuja with regard to the implementation of the NIGERIA OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY CONTENT DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2010.
At the meeting the CSOs and Media Partners observed as follows:
The Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 was promulgated by the Federal Government of Nigeria to enhance and bring about local participation in the oil and gas sector, as against the prevailing circumstance where International Oil Companies, IOCs, dominate the sector.
The Act which was promulgated to indigenize the sector, boost national economy, provide employment opportunities and enhance the standard of living of Nigerians has unfortunately since its passage in 2010 achieved little in terms of its objectives.
Notwithstanding the fact that the oil and gas sector provides almost 90% of Nigeria’s revenue, it has unfortunately accounted for less than 40% of the Nigeria GDP as nationals are hardly involved.
Cardinal provisions of the Act stipulates the gradual indigenization of the sector by the mentoring and training of Nigerians for the period for four years by the International Oil Companies, IOCs, and thereafter their admission into the management and supervisory cadres.
The Act also provides for exclusive bidding in the sector by wholly owned Nigerian companies that possess the relevant equipment and personnel to carryout advertised contracts.
The Meeting observed that the Act has witnessed more of breaches than compliance by the IOCs which have evolved smart ways to stop Nigerians from taking over key sectors of the industry as provided for in the law.
Nowhere has this been more evident than the case of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, an Italian oil major that has consistently refused to honour the terms of its Joint Venture Contract with ARCO GROUP, a wholly owned Nigerian oil and gas firm.
The Meeting also observed that the case between ARCO and AGIP is particularly disheartening given that its action is not only against the Law but also against a subsisting order of court that ordered it to maintain the status and allow ARCO Nigeria’s major assets in the Niger Delta region.
The case also exemplifies and is a typical reflection of the attitude and ways IOCs conduct business in Nigeria and in abhorrent disregard the laws of the country.
Needless to state that this has caused immense dislocations and negativity affected the participation of indigenous player in the sector besides weakening our national economy.
Perhaps as a result of the above, the power and communication sectors are also fast catching on and duplicating the trend in their operations.
Wherein the WORKING GROUP hereby makes the following resolutions and recommendations:
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board being the regulatory body in the Act should as a matter of urgency commence the discharge of its obligations by monitoring the operations of International Oil Companies, IOCs, with a view to track and enforce compliance with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010.
We call on the relevant Committees in both chambers of the National Assembly to immediately summon the management of the Italian firm, AGIP and other International Oil Companies, IOCs, to appear before it and explain their role in the total disregard and violation of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010.
Similarly, we call on the Federal Government to use all apparatus at its disposal in breathing life to the spirit and intent of the Local Content Act 2010.
We shall immediately commence advocacy visits on state and non-state actors, towards ensuring that all actors abide by the Law.
We will in the same vein carryout mass awareness and campaign to sensitize Nigerians on the objectives of the Act and how International Oil Companies are undermining the process.
Dated this 3rd day of September, 2015.