President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday commissioned the new headquarters building of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, with a pledge to spend more on infrastructure across the country and focus on finishing projects delivered by local contractors and technology that create jobs for thousands of Nigerians.
The President commissioned the iconic 17-storey building known as the Nigerian Content Tower through the zoom meeting platform and was joined on the platform by former President Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; three ministers, federal legislators, managing directors of international oil and gas companies and heads of government agencies.
Other structures commissioned by Mr. President included the 10MW Power Plant and 1000-seater Conference Center and he reaffirmed his administration’s drive to provide infrastructure across the country to attract investments, create jobs and eradicate poverty. ‘‘With the commissioning of this project, I want to highlight that we have put in place a landmark of reference in the Niger Delta to reflect long lasting legacies that signpost the years of oil and gas exploitation and I assure you that there is more to come,’’ he said.
He expressed delight that thousands of direct and indirect jobs were created during the execution of the project in addition to the various business opportunities. ‘‘This commissioning brings to the fore the importance of local content in all activities of our national life especially with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. ‘‘I believe strongly in local production and patronage of our goods and services as one of the surest ways to empower our citizens and give them viable opportunities to excel in their chosen professions and business endeavors. ‘‘That is why two of the Executive Orders issued under our government are related to enforcing local content in public procurement and contracts to further replicate the successes being realized in the oil and gas industry. ‘‘Local Content and Self Reliance are key principles of the recently approved 2.3 trillion Naira National Economic Sustainability Plan.
The plan is aimed at the promotion of local production, local services, local innovation, and the use of local materials,’’ he said.
Commending the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, members of the Governing Council, as well as management and staff of the NCDMB, for the achievement, the President said: ”The edifice we are commissioning today is a befitting birthday gift as you mark your 10th-year anniversary as a regulator and developer of local content in the oil and gas industry. ‘‘I am also pleased that this project has been delivered by local contractors supported by other local engineering and project consultants. We must all be proud that we finished what we started.
In his address, Chief Timipre Sylva described the building as evidence that Mr. President was committed to infrastructural development in every part of the country. ”It shows that skyscrapers and other laudable infrastructures can be built in the Niger Delta and indigenous contractors can perform wonders when given the right opportunities and the people of Bayelsa and indeed the entire Niger Delta are receptive to development and that Nigerian Content is here to stay.”
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote confirmed that the project was “fully executed using the dexterity of a Nigerian Architect, Popham Walter Odusote and other Nigerian consultants to design and supervise the project execution. The main contractor, MEGASTAR is Nigerian with several other Nigerian sub-contractors that worked day and night to deliver this world-class building with impressive safety statistics.”
According to him “the materials used is 76 percent Nigerian Content with the tiles, electrical cables, granite, and many other building materials produced in Nigeria. The manpower used for services and labor is over 95 percent Nigerian Content. The skills transferred to the local workforce in the construction of a high-rise building has been unprecedented.”
He expressed pride in the end-to-end thinking that went into the design and execution of this project which is typical of the Nigerian Content Board. “That is why we also partnered with NAOC JV to provide the 10MW gas-fired Power Plant to provide reliable power supply to the new headquarters building,” he said.
Attendees of the event in Yenagoa included the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari, who conveyed the support of the corporation to the NCDMB in the delivery of Local Content value to the nation.
In his speech, the Managing Director of Megastar Technical and Construction Company Limited, Architect Harcourt Adukeh stated that it was remarkable that a project awarded during the administration of former President Jonathan had continued seamlessly to completion and commissioning under the Buhari’s administration.
He commended NCDMB for having clarity of intent regarding what it wanted to achieve with the project. ”This clarity of intent and enthusiasm to develop Nigerian capacity engaged on this project was demonstrated seamlessly through corporate administration of four consecutive Executive Secretaries.”
He emphasised that the excellent technical background and experience of the current Executive Secretary helped ease the project, stressing that the project recorded a remarkable safety record, with zero Loss Time Injury (LTI), zero fatality, zero disability and zero road transport accident.