By Edith Ike-Eboh /Nathan Nwakamma
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has declared that the inauguration of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, indicated President Muhammadu Buhari’s disposition toward national development.
The President on Thursday performed the virtual inauguration of the 17-Storey complex where he gave the assurance that the federal government would cite more developmental projects in the entire oil-rich Niger Delta region.
Sylvia in his address at the event said the inauguration of the building showed that the president did not play politics with development.
He said that the completion of the project was one of the mandates given to the ministry under the next level agenda.
“I thank Mr President for ensuring that the oil and gas sector changed to a transparent one and from dispel to commitment.
“This inauguration shows that president Buhari is keen in developing all parts of the country and has support for indigenous companies to thrive.
“It shows that the Niger Delta is receptive to developments and that local content is here to stay.
“As a ministry, we are ready to unlock the gas sector and our decision of 2020 as a year of gas will be significant,” he said.
He commended the entire stakeholder, the Swali community, hosts of the NCDMB tower, and the Bayelsa government for their support.
Malam Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said that the inauguration of the building indicated that with the right mindset anything could be delivered in the country.
He said that some of the efforts of the President over the past five years had helped to sustain significant peace in the Niger Delta region.
“The oil and gas sector is developing with a lot of Nigerians that have skills; what we are seeing today is a testimony to that.
“Mr President, the level of training and empowerment coming from our industry will create hub of activities in West Africa.
“We will continue to support NCDMB and the drive for local content growth in the country,” he added.
Also, in his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, said that the building signified that there was hope.
He said that the 17-storey building construction which started in third quarter of 2015 had about half of what was on the surface below the ground.
According to him, 76 per cent of the materials used for construction are complete Nigerian content and 95 per cent of the manpower also indigenous.
He said that the building was a proof of prudent management of the one per cent revenue paid to the Nigeria Content Industry Fund by oil companies annually.
“We will continue to manage the fund prudently for efficiency and development in the sector and the country at large.
“I commend the support and contributions of the President, Minister of state, Petroleum Resources, Bayelsa state government, local communities, past Executive Secretaries and the staff members of the board.
“We will continue to create jobs, impart skills and change the skyline of Bayelsa people.
“This is a phenomenal growth of local content in the last decade,” he added.
Buhari during his speech promised to continue to support efforts that would boost infrastructure development in the Niger Delta and the country at large.
He added that his administration would spend more on infrastructure across the country, focusing on finishing projects delivered by local contractors and technology.
This, the President said, would create jobs for thousands of Nigerians.
He said the iconic 17-storey building, known as the Nigerian Content Tower, with the full complements of a 10MW Power Plant and 1,000-seater Conference Centre, reflected his administration’s drive to provide infrastructure across the country.
“With the commissioning of this project, I want to highlight that we have put in place a landmark of reference in the Niger Delta to reflect long lasting legacies that signpost the years of oil and gas exploitation.
“I assure you that there is more to come,’’ Buhari said.
Buhari commended Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the Chairman and members of the Governing Council, as well as the management and staff members of the Nigerian Content Board for the achievement in its 10th anniversary.
“The edifice we are commissioning today is a befitting birthday gift as you mark your 10th year anniversary as a regulator and developer of local content in the oil and gas industry,’’ the President remarked.(NAN)