Business Hilights
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Dangote refinery makes bold step to drive local content with Nigerian vendors

Management of the emerging Dangote Refinery in Lekki has keyed into the campaign of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) by agreeing to grant first right of refusal to competent Nigerian vendors that would participate in the construction of the plant from the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS).

A statement by the local content board, on Monday in Abuja, revealed that the Chief Operating Officer, Dangote Refinery Project, Mr. Giuseppe Surace, assured at the technical meeting held by top officials of the company and the NCDMB in Lagos, last week.

Business Hilights recalls that NOGICJQS, managed by the NCDMB, is the database of available capacities in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

Management of the refinery noted that working with local operators has more to add to the economy hence it maintained “Nigerian companies will get the first right of refusal. We will procure anything that is available in Nigeria.”

Surace stressed that there are several Nigerian content opportunities in the company’s refinery and gas-gathering projects but interested companies must submit competitive bids and have technical capabilities.

According to him, “The project is a private investment; hence, the strategy is to get the best quality anywhere in the world at the most competitive price.”

However, to speed up the drive, he advised intending vendors to come up with reasonable bid prices when for industry projects, rather than “believe that they would win jobs because of the Nigerian Content Act, irrespective of expensive quotations they submit.”

While explaining that Dangote Group had engaged the services of some Nigerian companies on its fertiliser project, which already reached an advanced stage of development, Surace averred that the company was committed to doing the same with the 650,000 barrels-per-day crude oil refinery project, which would be completed in October 2019.

Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, said the board would assist the company in the utilisation of the NOGICJQS database to ensure that it maximised the utilisation of local personnel, goods and services in the construction and operations phase of the project.

Wabote noted that “The Nigerian Content Act applies to every player in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, and not just international companies. If Nigerian companies and investors procure everything from abroad, then the essence of the Act will be defeated.”

Business Hilights recalls that since the emergence of Wabote as the head of the local content board, there had been serious progress in the growth of local operators in the nation’s oil and gas services sector.