By METROWATCH Reporter
The Federal Government’s effort to boost the Nigerian economy by maximising opportunities in the oil and gas sector through local content has materialised as the Industrial Park in Odukpani, Cross River State, is ready for business.
This is being made possible with a pledge of $50m by the Federal Government to attract investors.
The Odukpani Industrial Park is a project of the Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board (NCDMB). It is one of several such projects being set up in various parts of the country by the agency.
Addressing the media at the project site on Thursday, Dr. Ginah O. Ginah, General Manager, Corporate Communications, NCDMB, said for 55 years of the Nigerian oil industry prior to 2010, there was no visible local content in the sector.
The Nigerian oil industry was dominated by expatriates who provided men and materials needed to keep the oil industry in operation.
However, in 2010, the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act that birthed the NCDMB.
Ginah said the first task was for NCDMB to build the capacity of its staff and companies in the oil and gas sector.
He noted that the NCDMB has taken the local content in the oil and gas sector from 5% prior to 2010 to 54% at present, adding that the target is to take it to 70%.
One way of achieving the target, he said, is to start manufacturing oil and gas industry components and parts. This dream is set to be achieved with the Odukpani Park, which is ready for habitation.
The model, he said, is that each industrial park will produce a different set of components and parts for the oil and gas sector. Ginah said the cost of operation will be relatively low as the companies that will operate in the Park will share a common manufacturing floor, common security arrangement, common power supply in this case natural gas.
He informed that NCDMB is currently in the process of looking at the applications of companies that want to set up manufacturing plants in the Odukpani Industrial Park. He said the Board will look at the applications and approve those that meet its requirements.
He said to power heavy machines natural gas is cost effective compared to other options.
Adebayo Sunday, project manager of the Odukpani Industrial Park, said the park has facilities to make operations of companies habiting in the park smooth. These include banking hall, clinic, security, manufacturing floors, water treatment plant, helipad, power supply, etc.