By Abisola THOMPSON
No fewer than 60 indigenous oil and gas companies are to benefit from the federal government’s business intervention Project called “Project 100”.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, at the commissioning of the project in Abuja on Thursday said its aim was to boost the local companies.
He said that the project would nurture indigenous oil servicing companies and develop them into next generation large-scale Nigeria oil and gas companies.
According to him, the project will be managed by the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
He added that the companies would be nurtured through structured capacity building and policy intervention.
“Government is promoting Project 100 as an oil and gas industry intervention to identify, recognise and nurture wholly-owned indigenous oil and gas service providers into large scale players that will create high impact in the economy,’’ he said.
According to him, such impact will be in terms of job creation, technology development, wealth creation and other local content indicators.
“The Federal Government will support the firms in the areas where they need critical government support, through the provision of support in terms of granting them import waivers among many other incentives.
“Project 100 is founded on the logic that Nigerians have the capacity to lead this industry; to build the best FPSOs, to build the best platforms, to build the power plants to run the best plants and communication companies.
“There is nowhere in the world where people go through the kind of difficulties they go through in Nigeria.
“The expectations are that because I believe so much in you and you believe so much in yourself, we are working together as nation and people, we can deliver the sort of results that are enunciated here today and create work.’’
The Minister advised beneficiaries to fight to be the best and strive to get the best contracts in the industry as it was their entitlement.
“It is not a privilege; it is not a favour, it is your right. Deliver the best quality work results so that those who gave you the opportunity would be able to go home and feel very happy.
“Even if all we do is create 10 Korean-sized firms, we would have done a lot.” he said.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, said the project was a brainchild of Kachikwu, who had given the charge to the industry.
He said the 60 successful companies in the first tranche, emerged from the over 8,000 service companies registered on its web platform, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System, (NOGIC JQS).
He noted that registration and application on the platform, NOGIC JQS, was free for all participants.
He explained that the benefitting companies were from high impact oil and gas service providers, geosciences and seismic services, marine, drilling and engineering services.
He noted that the intervention which would be non-financial, would be used for provision of pecuniary intervention, such as strategic business/technical support and access to market, among others.
This, he said would be used by beneficiaries to promote local capacity development.
He added that financial linkages, the other government intervention in the successful companies, would involve provision of relevant linkages for the provision of actual financial/pecuniary interventions to beneficiaries for well-targeted initiatives that promote local content development.
Wabote noted that non-financial interventions included policy interventions, access to markets, capacity building, business insight, research and development, while financial linkages entailed provision of access to finance and opportunities for mergers and acquisitions.—–NAN