NCDMB Rejects 328 Expatriate Applications in Oil Sector

Oil Industry Shakeup: NCDMB's Bold Move to Empower Nigerian Talent

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

According to a report by the Sun, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has rejected 328 expatriate applications from oil companies in the past year. This move aligns with the Board’s efforts to bolster local content in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Olubisi Okunola, NCDMB’s Manager of Strategy, announced this significant development at a recent media workshop in Lagos. He revealed that the Board is nearing its target, achieving 83% of its 10-year roadmap goals.

According to Okunola, 2023 saw a surge in expatriate quota applications, leading to a higher rejection rate compared to 2022. “This year, the Board received 1,484 applications, approved 1,156, and rejected 328. In contrast, 2022 had 1,125 applications with 943 approvals and 172 rejections,” he stated.

Esueme Dan Kikile, Manager of Corporate Communications at NCDMB, echoed Okunola’s sentiments. He emphasized the Board’s commitment to achieving an 83% level of its 10-year roadmap. This roadmap’s inception dates back to 2001 under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who initiated local content policies in the oil and gas industry.

Historical Context and Legislative Developments

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) initially spearheaded these policies through its Nigerian Content Division. However, due to the lack of legal backing, industry compliance was inconsistent. The National Assembly later passed the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Bill during the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan. President Jonathan’s assent to the Bill in April gave birth to the NCDMB.

Recalling recent changes, the Board saw Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote appointed as the third substantive Executive Secretary in September 2016. Last week, President Bola Tinubu replaced Wabote with Felix Omatsola Ogbe and introduced new Governing Council members. President Tinubu expects these appointees to enhance indigenous participation in the energy sector, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda.

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