By Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, has won the African Local Content Icon Award.
Established by UK-based African Leadership Magazine, the award was presented to Wabote for his persistence in transforming local content narrative in Nigeria and the African continent beyond the oil and gas industry.
Speaking at the awards ceremony at the Nigerian Content Towers in Yenagoa over the weekend, Wabote stated that African countries do not need to produce oil before accepting local content.
He pledged to remain a committed advocate of bringing local content across Africa and beyond, with Nigeria at the forefront.
His words: “I am pleased to announce that you do not have to be an oil producing country to practice local content and discuss nationally.
“The vision of creating a sustainable adoption of the core principles of local content in Africa and beyond is being upheld with all political and legal instruments as well as through lobbying.
“If you take where we come from in this business before this body was set up and the law was passed, the percentage of value created in the oil and gas industry in the country was less than 3 percent.
“Everything about the industry was done outside of the country, mostly in America, Aberdeen, Canada, and even things as simple as conceptual design are being taken out of this country. So the value created was less to nothing.
“NNLG has turned around, 90 percent of the staff in this organization are Nigerians. Shell can also be proud to have Nigerians on its board of directors in the oil and gas sector, and even the CEO of Shell in Nigeria is Nigerian. Not to mention all the service providers, these are led by Nigerians just because of the drive, dedication and urge to locate most of these positions for which Nigerians have the capacity. It’s a big struggle to make it through. Most of the time, you get into that pain area when they tell you we can’t do this project because local content makes it more expensive, but the truth is, if you do the analysis in the end, it will be cheaper that day if you Doing things locally and using local people for such projects. “
Previously, African Leadership Magazine Managing Editor Kingsely Okeke said the award recognizes Wabote’s efforts to bring local content beyond the coast of Nigeria to the rest of Africa.
Emphasizing the importance of the award, he stated the need to tell the world that there are leaders in Africa who lead legacy-based lives that should be encouraged.
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