From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Kesiye Wabote has won the African Local Content Icon Award.
The award instituted by the United Kingdom based African Leadership Magazine was given awarded to Wabote for his doggedness in changing the local content narrative of Nigeria and the African continent beyond the oil and gas industry.
Speaking at the presentation of the award over the weekend at the Nigerian Content Towers, Yenagoa, Wabote stated that African countries do not need to be oil producing before they embrace local content.
He vowed to remain a committed advocate of local content adoption throughout Africa and beyond with Nigeria in the forefront.
His words :”I am pleased to note that you do not have to be an oil producing country to practice local content, the COVID- 19 pandemic has proven to all that local content is not just one fancy policy to be considered on the sideline of national discuss.
“The vision to create a sustainable adoption of Local Content core principles in Africa and beyond will be sustained using all policy and legal instruments as well as through advocacy.
“If you take it where we are coming from in this business prior to the establishment of this board and the enactment of the act, the percentage of the in-country value that was created in the oil and gas industry was less than 3 per cent.
“Everything in relation to the industry was done outside the country, mostly in America, Aberdeen, Canada and even things as simple as conceptual design are taken out of this country. So the value that was created was less to nothing.
“NNLG has flipped, 90 per cent of the staff in that organisation are Nigerians. Also in the oil and gas sector, Shell could be proud of having people on the board who are Nigerians and even the managing director of Shell in Nigeria is a Nigerian. Not to talk of all the service providers, these are led by Nigerians just because of the drive, commitment and the push for localising most of these positions that Nigerians have the capacity to take care of. It is a huge struggle to get it done, most times you get into the realm of that pain when they tell you we cannot do this project because local content is making it more expensive but the truth is If you do the analysis at the end of the day it is cheaper if you do things locally and use local people to do such project.”
Earlier in his remark, the Managing Editor of African Leadership Magazine, Mr. Kingsely Okeke, said the award was in recognition of Wabote’s effort in promoting local content beyond the shores of Nigeria to the rest of Africa.
He harped on the importance of the award stating that it was necessary to tell the world that there are leaders in Africa who are living legacy based lives that should be promoted.