The Nigerian Senate has announced that the amendment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry content development Act 2010 has begun.
POLITICS NIGERIA was reliably informed that the amendments are contained in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Bill 2020, which is sponsored by Senator Teslim Folarin(Oyo Central).
The bill scaled second reading on Tuesday. According to Senator Folarin, the Bill is aimed at amending 38 Sections of the extant Act while introducing six new sections. The essence of the bill is to bring the provisions of the sections to be amended into congruence with industry best practices.
“You will recall that before this Act came into force in 2019, over ninety percent of the $20 billion spent yearly in the Nigerian oil and gas industry was repatriated abroad.”
“This was because a large chunk of the contracts were executed by foreign companies and in foreign facilities. With only few indigenous players and facilities participating in the contracting process in the industry, Nigerian content was less than five percent,” he said.
He also disclosed that the amendments will strengthen the nation’s capacity to carry out a lot of onshore upstream activities.
“There has been a boost in the promotion of indigenous participation and the fostering of technological transfer as reflected in appreciable local growth. Only recently, one of Nigeria’s indigenous oil servicing firms established a 100 million fabrication plant in the Niger Delta region.”
“The implementation of the Nigerian Content Fund by the Board has also facilitated the provision of capital and financial support to several indigenous companies,” the lawmaker said.
The amendment to Section 11 captured in the new bill, according to Folarin, would give powers to the Minister of Petroleum to review the minimum target level for Nigerian content set in the schedule where the level is considered beyond the capacity of Nigerian companies by the board.
Similarly, the amendment proposed to Section 33 of the Act would streamline and strengthen the process for obtaining expatriate quota to close the gap for current leakages and manipulation by foreign companies.
Amendments to Sections 37, 38 and 39 in the bill are to improve the provisions relating to research and development and to ensure proper implementation, while Section 76 is proposed to give the Governing Council of the Board the role of Superintending over the conditions of service of employees of the board.