The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)/Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPC Ltd) and five foreign oil-producing companies with the aim of swiftly increasing Nigeria’s flagging crude oil production, ensuring adherence to the Nigerian Content Act’s requirements, and expediting document approvals.
The NCDMB came up with the idea for the SLA, which is meant to speed up the development of new oil and gas projects, enhance the contracting cycle in the oil and gas industry, and increase oil output.
In addition to Mr. Oritsemeyiwa A. Eyesan, the new Executive Vice President Upstream of the NNPC Ltd., Mr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, also signed the agreement on behalf of the national oil firm. Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN), and Mr. Shane Harris, Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil’s affiliates in Nigeria, were among the other prominent business leaders who signed the pact.
Others present included Mr. Iwueze Cosmas, Director of Joint Ventures for Chevron Nigeria; Mr. Fabrizio Bloomfied, Managing Director of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Ltd.; and Mr. Obi Imemba, Executive Director of Joint Ventures for Total Exploration and Production Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary reaffirmed his view that the objective is attainable with all important parties now on board with the implementation of the SLA by stating that the overarching goal is to complete the tendering to contract award procedures in the oil and gas industry within six months.
Being the senior partner in the joint ventures and concessionaire of the production sharing contracts (PSC) agreements that control how the industry operates, he expressed his happiness that NNPC Limited signed the MoU. Wabote noted that the NCDMB originally announced the 15-day Rule to the industry in 2017 when it pledged to react to any formal requests for approvals in connection with the execution of oil industry projects within 15 working days.
He mentioned how Nigeria LNG Ltd. pioneered the procedure and set approval records for the LNG Train 7 project before the norm was later formalised with a SLA in May 2017. He continued, “The industry found the outcome impressive leading to Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) signing the SLA in 2018 and Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) thereafter.”
Wabote confirmed NCDMB’s status as a business-enabling regulatory body, teasing that “this is attested to by our being recognised and awarded as the most efficient among the MDAs in 2022 by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC)”.
The NCDMB CEO gave the industry his word that the SLA wouldn’t be an exception and promised that the Board will fulfil its own commitment to the agreement. The first SLA of its sort to be entered into between a regulator and another organisation in the oil and gas industry was the one that was signed with the Nigeria LNG in 2017. The template was approved for use in managing contracts, paperwork, and applications for expatriate quotas between the Board and foreign and domestic operating enterprises.
The agreement required NCDMB to receive documents from NLNG including the Quarterly Job Forecast, Nigerian Content Plan, Bidders List, Nigerian Content Evaluation Criteria, and Nigerian Content Technical Bid among others, and required the Board to respond within predetermined time frames. The company could move forward with its tendering procedure after notifying the Board in writing or by email should they fail to act in line with the SLA’s requirements.