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$380bn lost to capital flight before NOGICD Act – Wabote

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board has said Nigeria lost over $380bn before the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development  Act was enacted in 2010.

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said this while speaking at a sensitisation workshop for the Rivers State judiciary in Port Harcourt on Thursday, with the theme, ‘‘Philosophy and imperative of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act’.

Wabote who spoke virtually, explained that local content was not about nationalisation of foreign firms, but about domiciliation and domestication for local value addition.

According to him, “Despite Nigeria’s enviable hydrocarbon and human resources, it is disheartening to note that only a small, insignificant proportion of the oil and gas industry value was retained in the country.

“Prior to the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act of 2010, almost all value-adding activities were done overseas, and this resulted in significant capital flight, which was estimated to be at about $380bn over a 50-year period.

“This resulted in over two million job losses, as most jobs were also executed by foreigners. Furthermore, less than five per cent of Nigeria’s yearly oil and gas industry spending was retained in the country.”

He said local content needed foreigners and foreign direct investments to thrive.

The NCDMB boss stated, “It is important to note that local content is not about nationalisation; it is about domiciliation and domestication for local value addition.

“It needs foreigners and foreign direct investments to thrive. Local content is not a corporate social responsibility, it is a business. Local content is a marathon, not a sprint; and local content is not at all cost.”

Wabote added, “Local content has no ’one-size-fits-all approach or solution; local peculiarities are key considerations in implementation; what that means is that local content needs in Nigeria may not be the same in other countries like Qatar, local content obtainable in Nigeria or Qatar depends on the peculiarity of the country.

“As always, our message remains simple: we want partakers in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to produce, process, refine, manufacture, add value, retain value, pay taxes here and create jobs here in Nigeria.”

He also said Nigeria lost over two million jobs prior the NOGICD Act, as most jobs were executed by foreigners.

Declaring the workshop open, Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, said the NOGICD Act was a welcoming, but required deliberate efforts of NCDMB for effective implementation.

Fubara was represented by the State  Attorney General andnCommissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN.

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