Local Content: NCDMB seeks NBA’s participation in Nigeria’s oil, gas sector

Oredola Adeola

Nigerian lawyers have been charged to take advantage of professional opportunities in the country’s oil and gas sector by making themselves available to offer legal representations and advisory services to boost businesses, especially project and infrastructure development in the energy industry.

This was part of the highlight of activities when Mr. Olumide Akpata, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)  and other officials of the Association visited the  corporate head office of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during the week..

The NBA President in his statement during the courtesy meeting said his team’s visit to the Board was to personally thank the NCDMB for its consistent support to the NBA and the Judiciary.

Akpata noted that NBA seeks collaboration with the NCDMB for the NBA’s institute of Continuing Legal Education which according to him is aimed at improving the capacity of Nigerian Lawyers.

He also commended the Board for its work at promoting local content which he said “must be replicated in other sectors of the economy”

Naboth Onyesoh, Head Directorate of Legal Services, (DLS) NCDMB, who received the NBA team, on behalf of the management of the Board, thanked  Akpata for expressing interest in the activities of the NCDMB.

He charged Nigerian legal practitioners to take more interest in the country’s oil and gas industry and to show more understanding in strategic relevance of the Local Content to the national economic agenda of Nigeria.

He noted that NCDMB is willing to offer support for interested lawyers in terms of how to deal with some of the industry’s inherent risks, adding that oil and gas deals require acumen, knowledge, foresight and great skills.

The NCDMB’s legal officer said, “Nigerian Lawyers need to take more interest in the oil and gas industry and understand that Local Content is a strategic national economic agenda of Nigeria.

“We have realised that lawyers are not willing to participate in the sector because of the serious capacity gap that exists in adjusting to industry operations. The oil and gas industry treasures capacity.

“Without required capacity you can’t play any significant role in the oil and gas sector. One of the critical mandate of NCDMB is to build capacity of every player within the sector.

“Unfortunately most Lawyers don’t know that the oil and gas is pivotal to the Nigerian economy. So knowledge of oil and gas transaction is very critical. It is a serious matter of great concern that Lawyers need to take more than passive interest in the sector.

“Amidst the rhetoric about energy transition, Lawyers need to take serious interest in the changing energy industry landscape and the opportunities it presents to the legal profession,” the NCDMB DLS noted.

The NBA President was accompanied by Omubo Frank-Briggs, 3rd Vice President; Kunle Edun, National Welfare Secretary; Ukumbiriowei Saiyou, Chairman NBA Yenagoa; Ebinyu George Aderigha, Chairman NBA Sagbama; Soala Jumbo,  Vice Chairman, NBA Yenagoa; Kelvin Ejelonu,  former National Officer; Irene Pepple, former National Officer, member Governing Council NBA-Women Forum; Dise Ogbise- State Lead, NBA-Women Forum;  Somina Johnbull, member Governing Council, NBA-Human Rights Forum;  Perekedou James Fawei,  Secretary, NBA Yenagoa Branch; Ebiere Ekpese, Secretary, NBA Sagbama Branch; Jessica Goddy, Assistant Secretary, NBA Yenagoa Branch.

Others are Rose Briggs, NBA Port Harcourt; Damilare Ojo-NBA office; Uju Odera- NBA office  and Melah Ibrahim PA to NBA President.