I had earlier written a post on Petroleum Products Marketing in Nigeria. Now, another question arose, how can you participate in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industries? In this article, I will discuss ways that you can participate in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industries and to become fully relevant in the system. This article is the part 1 of 3 which covers the prequalification eligibility and how to get involved. Please read thoroughly.
There are different departments in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, you can get involved in the marine sector, gas sector or the oil sector. You can get involved in so many other parts (will be discussed in part II). You are advised to come in, get knowledge, understand what is in the law and how to leverage on it, seek and make use of this opportunity and embrace it.
I want to say that our people (Nigerians) are still at the back bench because of lack of information. Often times, if you ask somebody – what do you do? And the person says “oil and gas business”, on further enquiry, you’ll realize that he just owns a filling station. That is the level of involvement in the oil and gas by most people who claim to be in.
That is not to say that petroleum products marketing isn't big enough, but beyond this, other people get involved in the real oil and gas business, they have equipment in the high sea making millions for them daily, their equipment is there in the upland making millions for them. What is making million for them daily are somewhere in the creek there and they are somewhere in Dubai enjoying themselves.
Why did we wait till now when others had taken the juicy areas in the industry? It’s still not late. What I mean is that our oil is still flowing and more are being discovered in other regions of the country. Our participation in the business of oil and gas is very lucrative. Why it took us a long time to recognize this is lack of awareness and limited information. Now, it is a good thing that the FG, who brought this idea. The Nigerian Local Content Act was signed in 2010. This act was put in place so that people from the oil producing regions and the people of Nigeria would benefit from the oil, because, so much had been lost to foreigners.
What qualification do you need to participate in the oil and gas?
Any level at all that you are, you can participate in the oil and gas business, but you will be required to improve on your abilities.
If you are an engineer, you need to be a good engineer, a geologist, fabricator, or a welder; you need to be a good one. What ever you are doing, try to enhance and improve on your abilities. That means you must apply yourself to producing goods and providing services that are considered efficient in the oil and gas industry. In this case, you now understand that it is not your colour or where you are from that will determine your participation in the Nigerian oil and gas industries rather your qualification level of expertise.
How do you get to know the standard required?
How do you get to know the standard required in the oil and gas industry and be an effective participant? Where should you go for training?
I will give a clearer answer to this question.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has established a Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) which is in partnership with several training groups and consultants who assists all those who want to participate in the industry to go into training.
There is training for welders, engineers, fabricators and others. These training sessions are organized and coordinated by the NCDMB. If you want to participate, you will have to meet the coordinator of NCDMB (contact will be given later at the end of this article).
Participants will be selected and trained to improve on their abilities and this is being organized in a very efficient procedure.
The Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF) is also in partnership with the NCDMB to do the training. At the time of writing this article, training is taking place in all the profession so that they can improve on their abilities. Training is going on in welding, AutoCAD, fabrication, and all sorts of professions relevant to the oil and gas industries.
In addition, I will like to emphasize the fact that local content does not mean compromising on standard and quality of product or services. Local content does not mean Nigerianization. Local content is in support of quality, standards that are obtainable in the Nigerian oil and gas Industries.
The NCDMB do not compromise standard and that is why the organization put in place a machinery to oversee the whole management of the law to (1) ensure compliance with the law, (2) develop manpower and (3) enhance capability in the oil and gas industries by training.
For you to be qualified for employment in the oil and gas industries, you have to go through training and be certified. The Nigeria Institute of Welding is currently training Nigerians and awarding certification to them to work in the Nigerian oil and gas industries.
Secondly the NCDMB also train people in other areas like environment remediation to cater for oil spill issues, Nigerians are trained on how to offer remedial services to environment. People are also trained on other jobs – electrical, mechanical etc. And this is done periodically and in partnership with so many other agencies like the NDDC, PTDF, and other agencies of government. There is also a proposal on ground to explore the maritime.
The Way Forward - What can you do to be a partaker in oil and gas business in Nigeria?
Prequalification eligibility in doing business in the Nigerian oil and gas industries.
1. You have to registeryour company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), first and foremost, register as a company and then you will also have to be a Nigerian citizen owning a Nigerian Company.
The law itself has defined what a Nigerian Company is as against what the Company and Allied Act has defined it before now. The beauty about this is that the Nigerian Company according to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 is defined as that company that has 50% and above shares that belongs to Nigerians in both home and abroad.
It means Nigerians in that company constitutes the board of that company, they might be 51+ (above and not below) out of lets say a hundred member board committee. Also, the Company and Allied Act define a Nigerian Company differently from what the emerging Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 defines it. So, you have to first and foremost have to be a legal entity in Nigeria to be certified as a Nigerian Company. Only then will you be allowed to participate in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
2. Yes! You can get into the business at the community level
Community groups are also encouraged to come together and partner with people, register a company and take it to the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and bid for contracts. For the communities, there is a provision for you in the law that says that certain contracts should be awarded to the host communities and gone are the days where certain people in our community will just go and collect money from the IOCs and pretends they have not, and then the whole community will suffer.
The community now has a opportunity to be involved in the oil and gas business. They can come together as a group and register business and pass through the normal processes of contract award, i.e., If the prequalification stage, the technical and submission level complies with the entire Nigerian Local Content requirement, it is certain that they will have the contract award. Where they don’t have the award, then they can come back to the board and complain. Now the board will pick up from there to endure that the community is favoured in this direction.
3. You can Also Get Involved through Partnership
What if your community is not regarded as oil and gas producing community?
In oil and gas business, partnership is allowed. A Nigerian, who has limited abilities, can go into partnership with those who are stronger with abilities and wealth to invest in the industry. Because of lack of financial strength, you can pull your resources together as a group to enhance effectiveness. Like I wrote earlier, local content does not mean compromise to quality. Different expertise levels can be shared among groups coming together to synergise the company strength and professionalism to meet the standard required in the industry. Then you can function well.
Everyone can come together with their individual effort to synergies so as to commence business, even though late, it is better that than not starting at all.
Who to contact if you want to start business in the oil and gas industry.