From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB has revealed that it is doing everything possible to establish more modular refineries in order to reduce the importation of refined products in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the board, Engineer Simbi Kesey-Wabote disclosed this at a one-day Capacity Building Workshop for Media Stakeholders, organized by NCDMB, held in Kano on Tuesday.
Mr Kesey-Wabote stated that the move to establish the modular refineries is to induce local refining, add value to crude oil and mitigate pipeline vandalisism, crude oil theft, illegal refining among others.
Represented by the General Manager Reaseach, Statistics and Development of the board, Abdulmalik Halilu, Mr Kesey-Wabote also said that it is high time for Nigerians l, especially northerners to wake up from their slumber and explore the opportunities that abound in the oil and gas sector in order to drive maximum economic benefits.
He however said that “the idea behind the establishment of the board was stategically aimed at eliminating foreign participation and domination in the oil and gas industry to pave way for local indiginous stakeholders to come forward and benefit from the natural deposits endowed in their father land in order to ensure self reliance.
“If you import either goods or services from abroad, you are directly or indirectly creating job opportunities for that particular country you are doing business with and that is why the idea of doing things differently for the benefit of our local people crop up this time around,” he said.
The Executive Secretary argued that “instead of Nigeria to keep relying on foreign engineers, contractors or technicians to develop its oil and gas industry, while it has abundant experts on ground who can do the job even better locally, we at NCDMB decided that such opportunities must be given to deserving Nigerians.”
He therefore disclosed that NCDMB is implementing several initiatives for the development of oil producing communities and improve their economies, adding that the board had so far established community contractors fund under the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund.
He further disclosed that the fund would allow the communities to access up to N20 million for contract execution in the oil and gas industry at 5 percent interest rate.
Mr Kesey-Wabote stated that the NCDMB is also developing the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme, NOGAPS in four statetegic locations in the oil producing states for manufacturing equipment, components and chemicals as well as training the young ones to acquire skills to improve productivity.
Other resource person who spoke during the Workshop include a Senior lecturer with the Department of Mass Communication Kaduna State University, Professor Ayodele Joseph who described media stakeholders as indispensable catalyst for Content Development in the country in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Speaking on the Role of the Media in Public Policy Framing Case Study of Nigerian Content, Mr Joseph said the business of policy formulation by those calling the shots in the corridors of power could only be attested if the media practitioners are maintaing ethical standards in their dealings.
He said the media practitioners has to be in full picture of policy making and implementation, the public would be in the know of what the government is doing for the benefit of the populace.
He said as professionals in the field of Information dissemination, media practitioners were fully guided by the ethics of the journalism profession which were being anchored on the premise of ensuring probity accountability and service delivery in the conduct of public office holders.