Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB
The Nigerian Content came to being in 2010 with a regulatory body known as Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) which has been overseeing the activities of local content in the country.
Barely after nine years of its creation, it has recorded reasonable successes in the oil industry owing to commitment and passion of NCDMB Executive Secretary (ES), Simbi Wabote.
For the industry to forge ahead and progress, Wabote pointed out that collaboration is a key factor in the oil industry. Emphasizing on shaping the future through collaboration and innovation, the ES made a humorous remarks to awaken stakeholders in the industry that “In the past when there was no time piece to know when it is dawn, they listen to the cock. It would crow once signifying 5:am. When it does the second time, it indicates 6: am and third time signifies 7:am which means it is time to wake up.” According to him, if the conferences he had attended with regards to the oil and gas industry have crowed three times reiterating collaboration, it tells Africa, it time to wake up from slumber.
He extolled Total E&P for it has done to move the needle in Local Content in Nigeria. As the ES of NCDMB Wabote discovered that some operators and contractors are negotiating below what Total has achieved but it will be “forward ever and backward never.”
He advised Africa to look forward with progressive ideas that will shape the future of the continent, “When I listen to people trying to solve the problem of migration of Africans from Africa to Europe, what are they looking for? They are looking for jobs and better life. If we don’t look inwards and if the international communities do not recognize that it is important that we leave jobs in those areas for Africa because population is growing without control, it is time for them to have the jobs so that they can stay in their content.”
He warned stakeholders that if the jobs in the industry are moved away outside Africa, in the next twenty years, the influx of migration from the continent might not be controlled. There is nothing that can be done by the international communities to handle the potential threat. Wabote added that “It is an existential threat that I have no job and I have no future, I will definitely come for you.”
The Local Content advocate pleaded with industry stakeholders especially the multinational to pass the message that Local Content drive the economy of most African countries which is the right path. It has to be encouraged and enhanced that people should have access to jobs in order to have a better life. The ES reiterated that the “Cock has crowed three times and it is time for Africa to wake up and collaborate in order to enhance the development of Local Content.”