The House of Representatives Committee on Local Content has expressed its commitment to partner Dangote Refinery on local capacity development in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010.
Speaking when he led the other members of the committee on inspection tour of the multi-billion refinery in Lagos, the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, said the purpose of the visit was to help guide the company to be in compliance with the NOGICD Act.
He said the committee did not visit the company to antagonise anybody, adding that Alhaji Aliko Dangote is the pride of the black man.
“We actually came here to see what is going on. We have come; we have seen and we need to work with the management of Dangote Group of companies to bring them up to speed. We understand that when a country engages on this kind of massive development, some rules have to be bent so that we can get to where we need to get to. We came here to see how we can guide Dangote Group of Companies so that they can be in compliance with the law,” Ekon explained.
The company had told the committee that out of four foreign companies and one Nigerian company approached by the company to move some of its imported equipment from the Apapa Port to the construction site at the Dangote Free zone by water, only the Nigerian company had the capacity to move the equipment to the site successfully through the Lagos lagoon.
According to the Technical Consultant to Dangote on Refinery and Petrochemical, Mr. Babajide Shoyode, the Warri-based Nigerian company, Wellman was the only company that successfully transported the equipment to site, adding that the barge that carried the equipment had to wait for six hours under the Eko bridge for the tide to calm down, otherwise the equipment would have hooked on the bridge.
In his response, Ekon said there were many ‘Wellmans’ in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector that have the capacity to execute complex projects, and urged Dangote Group to work with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to identify Nigerian companies that have competences in particular areas to avoid exporting jobs or using foreign companies to execute jobs for which there is local capacity.
“We don’t want the kind of mistakes that other companies have made in Nigeria to be repeated here. That is why we need to start early to make sure that our company – because this is our own interest – that this company is up to speed so that five years down the road, they don’t run at loggerheads with the law. That is why we are here.”
“We need to talk to the management; we need to talk to Alhaji Aliko Dangote himself; we need to work with him and we need to encourage him. We are not here to antagonise anybody; we are not here to antagonise Dangote Group of Companies. We are not here to do things to slow down the speed of this massive construction that is going on, We are only here to start from the beginning to put them on the