Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has called for the speedy completion of the Dangote Refinery project, rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt and Warri Refineries, and the 615km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Pipeline, describing it as the ignition points for Nigeria’s economic growth under the present administration.
He made this known during a panel session in his address at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja during the week.
According to him completing all the projects to the finish line is an ignition point for growth, emphasising that there is no need to keep at them till completion otherwise, they remain a dream.
Wabote also recommended timely decisions on lingering issues on divestment, assignments and acquisition, bid rounds and inter-agency collaborations, sanctity of contract, and others, as other important ideas that would ignite the growth of the industry.
He stated that setting Local Content practice as a National Agenda to address recurring dislocations in the economy.
He insisted that the successes recorded in the practice of Nigeria’s Content in the oil and gas industry needed to be replicated and sustained across other sectors of the country’s economy to promote local manufacturing and productivity.
He further charged the government and the private sector players against unending changes to the structures set up by the Petroleum Industry Act 2021. He noted that any changes in the present state could kill the confidence of investors and stall new projects in the oil and gas sector.
He further explained that the PIA 2021, contains adequate provisions to ignite growth in the energy sector, and therefore charged the Federal Government and key stakeholders to avoid the temptation of tweaking the law at every turn.
He hinted that “policy somersault kills the confidence of investors. Once a nation is known for trial-and-error initiatives, it makes the investors adopt a wait-and-see attitude or move on to other entities.
While acknowledging the need to seek areas of improvement, he cautioned that “it is injurious to the investment climate if we are in a perpetual state of policy modifications or amendment of laws that we are yet to even progress to full implementation.
“Wabote remarked that it took the Nigerian oil and gas industry almost two decades to pass the PIA, during which time many stakeholders of the industry blamed the lack of passage of the erstwhile Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as the reason for the lack of investment in the oil and gas industry.
He charged players in the industry to complete ongoing projects and deploy the provision of the PIA to simulate the necessary growth in the energy sector.