Finally, indigenous companies get contracts to lift crude oil
- NISA says it is voice of Jacob, hand of Esau
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said that 60 per cent of crude oil lifting contracts in 2014 have been awarded to shipping companies owned by Nigerians.
The Minister, who disclosed this over the weekend, said that the move is part of the Federal Government’s objective to encourage effective local participation in the oil and gas industry.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Alison-Madueke who is also the Chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) Board, stated that over 60 per cent of the 2014 to 2015 annual term contracts for the lifting of Nigeria’s crude oil was decidedly awarded to local firms after a painstaking pre-qualification process.
She said the balance was shared among some international trading companies, refineries and to some countries with bilateral trade agreements with Nigeria.
“When we unveiled the Nigerian content law a few years back, the overriding principle was to grow indigenous capacity in an aggressive manner and I am happy to report that today, in the oil and gas sector, Nigerian content has been placed on the path of irreversible progress,” the Minister said.
Alison-Madueke noted that the award to local players is in line with the aspiration of President Goodluck Jonathan for effective transformation of the petroleum industry.
She said the advent of the Nigerian content law has encouraged indigenous investment in critical infrastructure.
She added: “We have seen robust indigenous investments in Marine vessels of various categories and wholly owned Nigerian vessels have increased astronomically through the years. These vessels are the Category one and Category two types. Investments in reception, storage and distribution facilities such as jetties, depots, trucks, vessels and modern retail outlets have more than doubled over the past few years, and this has helped to increase the nation’s sufficiency level in petrol,” the Minister said.
Alison-Madueke remarked that as at the last count indigenous investments in the sector have created over 40, 000 jobs across the hydrocarbon value chain.
“We have witnessed increased local investments in asset, in land, swamp and offshore rigs which are vital performance indicators in business growth in Nigerian service companies. As we speak Nigerian companies are forging partnerships for deep water rig ownership and are evolving strategies that will increase rig ownership among local players,” she stated.
Meanwhile indigenous ship owners under the aegis of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) have condemned the claim by the Petroleum Resources Minister that they now have contracts to lift 60 per cent of the nation’s crude oil.
“There is no end to the game of deception. Nothing has changed at all. What is at play here is what one can describe as the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau. The process of selection was neither open nor transparent. Nobody can tell how the companies were selected. When and where was it advertised?
“Some people were handpicked and arrangement was made with them and some foreign companies. As far as we are concerned, nothing has changed at all,” NISA Chairman, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, stated.
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