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NCDMB, NFIU Partner to Fight Capital Flight, Reduce Expatriate Quota

-By Gideon Osaka

The capital flight being experienced in the oil and gas industry will soon be a thing of the past as the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is set to partner with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to retain spend in the local economy and create value.

The agreement was reached when the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Simbi Wabote received the Chief Executive Officer of the NFIU, Mr. Modibbo Hamman Tukur at the Board’s Abuja liaison office. Tukur explained that NFIU is the Nigerian arm of the global financial intelligence units. He added that the NFIU seeks to safeguard the Nigerian financial system and contributes to the global fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and related crimes through the provision of credible financial intelligence. He intimated the Board about the setting up a Financial Action Task Force to evaluate and analyse financial transactions carried out by financial institutions and professionals that hold funds in trust for establishments and individuals. Also speaking, Wabote affirmed the Board’s preparedness to collaborate with NFIU to curb capital flight for the benefit of the Country. He noted that the Board had taken concrete steps to implement the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act and is open to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the NFIU. He also explained that part of the Board’s mandate is to promote indigenous participation in the oil and gas sector, stressing that local content is not intended to nigerianize the industry, rather it is focused on domiciling oil and gas activities in-country.

Meanwhile, Wabote said that the number of expatriates working in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector has been reduced by 80 per cent. Speaking recently at the NCDMB’s third-quarter engagement with the media, which focused on the major achievements of the board, he said, “From 2010 till date, the board has reduced the number of expatriates in the Nigerian petroleum industry by 80 per cent. Nigerians now occupy key positions and deliver critical services in the industry.’’ The executive secretary said that before the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, oil welding activities were done outside Nigeria because of the lack of world-class welding facilities.

“Today, we are fabricating about 60,000 metric tonnes per annum in Nigeria, which never existed before. “We have about five world-class welding yards as we speak today. These welding facilities can compete with any of their peers outside the country.

“Today, 95 per cent of service companies in the oil and gas sector, be it onshore and swamp drilling activities, well intervention facilities, well simulation activities and others, are being done by Nigerians.

“These used to be the exclusive preserve of multinational companies like Schlumberger, Haliburton and others; but Nigerians have taken all those responsibilities in the land and swamp areas, especially in the area of drilling,’’ he said.

As regards the operations of the upstream sector, Wabote noted that in the past, it was the multinationals that were operating all the existing fields. He, however, said that Nigerians were now operating those fields which accounted for between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of oil production in the country, aside from domestic gas production.