My Journey To “Award of Great Achievement”

By Odimegwu Onwumere

My people in Oyigbo, Rivers State, celebrated my journalism achievements. The date was May 6 2018. The venue was D’ Truth Lounge, Union Street.

The organizers of the event had taken me uninformed. It was a surprise to me. I was barely notified of the ceremonial five or thereabouts hours to the kick-off.

Mr. Casmir Ogaraku and Lady Geraldine Chukwu deemed it wise that they put up the event in service of my Pan African Re/insurance Award 2018, which I received in Namibia on April 9, 2018.

Ogaraku and Chukwu’s insight was that in a safe and sane environment, the government ought to have celebrated me, given that I won the overall of the awards across Africa, organized by Continental Reinsurance Plc. But since the government was yet to do so, they, my beloved ones had to celebrate me.

Anyways, according to a press release by Continental Re within the period of the awards titled “Winners of 2018 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards Announced”, it read, “Odimegwu Onwuwere, a journalist with Nigeria’s Africa Prime News has bagged the Pan African Journalist of the Year Award for the 2018 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards sponsored by Continental Reinsurance
.
“His winning article titled “Africa emerging new frontier in the reinsurance markets” investigates how foreign insurers that once rebuked Africa due to economic instability are now swarming for businesses on the continent because the sector is becoming alluring and dynamic due to unswerving GDP growth…”

Being the third edition of the journalism awards, “It received 61 entrants from 15 English and French speaking countries including: Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Mauritius and Zambia for Anglophones; Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo for Francophones,” stated the release.

Conversely, at the celebration in Oyigbo, D’ Truth Lounge, Air Cas Service LTD, and Oya Industries LTD, gave me “Award of Great Achievement”. It is an honour that a prophet is recognized at home.

Before this time, friends and well-wishers had celebrated with me as the 2018 Pan African Re/insurance Award winner. Many media platforms like the revered ThisDay Newspapers gave my winning a wide coverage. The news was also awash online. Friends and well-wishers and my family members on social media escalated the news.

My experience in Swakopmund, (the place for the awards) this coastal city in Namibia, west of the capital, Windhoek, was a relish. Haboured in one of the best hotels in the country known as Strand, the sandy beaches around the hotel made my nearly one week stay in the city fascinating.

I was made to understand that Swakopmund faces the Atlantic Ocean. According to history, it was “Established by German colonialists in 1892, the city’s colonial landmarks include the Swakopmund Lighthouse and the Mole, an old sea wall. Next to the lighthouse, the Swakopmund Museum documents Namibian history. Inland, the elegant Swakopmund Railway Station, now a hotel, also dates to the colonial era.”

Desert takes a vast land of the city. There were calls for duty among the authorities. Hardly were there potholes on the roads. Their vehicles are not like Nigerians. Their vehicles are majorly German.

Namibia is about two hours from South Africa, and Nigeria to South Africa is about six hours. There was no direct flight from Nigeria to Namibia, occasioned by lack of Nigerian Carrier.

It was SA Express aircraft. And I took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), located in Lagos State. History says, “MMIA is the major airport serving the entire state. The airport was initially built during World War II and is named after Murtala Muhammed, the 4th military ruler of Nigeria.”

At this airport, those that checked my papers were beggarly. Officials that were supposed to mind their various posts begged. “Anything for me?” they begged.

This habit was not the same in South Africa where I first landed to connect another aircraft to Namibia after hours. In Namibia and South Africa, no officials at the immigration units begged for money. They concentrated on their work.

While the MMIA was overcrowded by officials and the environment oozed with putrefying smell, O. R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa, was well organized. History says, “It is a major international airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa, near the city of Johannesburg and, to a lesser extent, the executive capital Pretoria.” The same was applicable to the airport in Swakopmund.

Many experiences were gathered on my journey To “Award of Great Achievement.” I can’t thank Coss Williams enough for his advise at the earlier stage of my career. My parents and family have always been around.

I thank Elsie, Cess, Eniola of Continental Re, and Nike of The Punch Newspapers, Nigeria, who guided the way I travelled to Namibia. I thank my friends on social media who amplified my triumph. Ogaraku and Chukwu and Chukwudi Nlewem are not left behind. I thank all of you.

-Odimegwu Onwumere is a Media Consultant who has won many journalism awards; he is based in Rivers State, and can be reached via: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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My Arrogant Classmate

By Odimegwu Onwumere

I saw Onyekachi on May 13 2018, after eight years or thereabouts. The place was along Shell Location Road, Oyigbo, Rivers State.

{Odimegwu Onwumere winner Pan African Reinsurance Journalism Awards 2018}

Onyi, as he was fondly called, was my classmate in the secondary school. He was driving an expensive car, although a rickety one. I was riding my motorcycle.

Crossing a road bump, he was looking at me, but I was quick to recognise him and shouted, “Onyi!”, then veered the roadside in excitement and packed.

He packed his ‘expensive car’ just on the road, came down, with his shoulders very up, twisting himself like the peacock’s. I sensed his arrogance and hated him immediately with passion.

His style, for me, was odoriferous. I knew he was no body before the eight years he disappeared from Oyigbo. He was nobody even in our school days and is no body to me today, as far as I’m involved.

With his shoulders very high and with an aura downsizing me, I concluded that this guy was EMPTY. I had known that the greatest drum makes the greatest noise. I saw a very fat Onyi but an EMPTY person.

I bought in his downsizing of me and made him feel above life, above board.

Onyi asked from my family to some other things, just as a teacher would ask his pupil. I allowed him feel important while I remained the unimportant person, as his body language suggested the latter.

He mentioned a crème de la crème party in the town he was attending before we met. I allowed him express his foolery self.

Besides, he was not my mate, even though we were classmates. I’m about two or thereabouts years his elder. That apart. I went to pick my motorcycle from where I packed it, after the unpleasant pleasantries.

When I have done this, I watched Onyi twisting himself back to enter his ‘expensive car’ the same way he came down from it.

We greeted again and zoomed off. But while I was riding, I was looking for a statement to qualify Onyi. Luckily, I found solace in one of the quotes by John Calvin Maxwell, an American author, speaker, and pastor with many books, primarily focusing on leadership, to his credit.

John Calvin Maxwell says, “There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. ‘Good pride’ represents our dignity and self-respect. ‘Bad pride’ is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.”

Sadly, Onyi had ‘Bad pride’!

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Nigerian Cancer Patients Lack Funds, Access To Quality Healthcare

Many cancer patients are referred to overseas by the Nigerian hospitals due to poor healthcare in the country. Odimegwu Onwumere writes that from the victims’ bank accounts they make public for assistance from good spirited individuals and groups in order to head overseas for treatment, government does not come to their assistance for funding, winning cancer in the country will remain a mirage 

{A Cancer Patient}

Aminat Adeniyi was 8 years old when her parents noticed that her chest was obtruding. Little did the Adeniyis who reside in Ajegunle Street, Alakuko, Lagos State, expect that what they had taken as a mere boil on their daughter’s chest would grow out of hand and cause the family sleepless nights.

All the monies that the family had saved were expended on treating the little girl who was 12 years old last year. The ailment was dogged that she underwent a surgical operation, which did little to ameliorate the disorder, but resurfaced barely four months after.

In the process, her father lost his job and the family was at a crossroads. Documents from the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, where examinations on the status of the disease were conducted showed that “the girl has a left chest wall mass of about nine years duration.”

The paradox was that when assessments had proven that the swell would not be painful, the girl’s condition worsened that she lost so much weight. Fingers pointing at cancer as the bane of the girl, the family expressed apprehension and were later advised to take the girl to overseas “for proper surgery by chest reconstruction experts.” This is without any government assistance.

Drained Funds

Since the father of the ailing child, Adeniyi Monsuru, could not get a support from the government; he resorted to seeking public assistance by giving out his bank details. This was the same case with Donald Nwosu, a Nigerian Medical Doctor who needed N25m (about $61,700) to treat cancer, July last year.

If not for Nwosu’s classmates numbering six that went online, using a platform known as Go-Fund Me, to appeal to public conscience to assist the medical doctor, he would not had lived up the July of last year. In their effort, they were able to raise $25,000, a fraction of the $61, 700 that were required for Nwosu to be alive.

The cases of Aminat Adeniyi and Donald Nwosu are but a few examples of the many cancer patients who are writhing in pains in their closet due to funds to take further step against their malady.

Emphasis On Public Financing

In a public presentation during the 2018 World Cancer Day in Lagos, a non-governmental organisation, The Dorcas Cancer Foundation expressed sadness that funding has become a dilemma to the fight against cancer in the country. Hence, the group frowned that government policies were yet to offer viable entrée for those living with cancer, especially children.

According to the founder of The Dorcas Cancer Foundation, Dr. Adedayo Joseph, “The best way to fight cancer is for the authorities to provide enough funds and put up policies that will give patients easy admittance to reputable treatment.

However, the authorities in Nigeria would always blame the citizens of not presenting their cancer matters early for diagnosis, a ploy the government has been using in order not to take blame for the lack of modern equipment in the hospitals across the country.

According to a source that would prefer anonymity, “Nigeria, with a population of over 170 million, has only eight centres for cancer treatment. Out of the eight radiotherapy machines procured by the Federal Government over 10 years ago and distributed to seven states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), none is functioning at present.”

Then-again, in its plan to screen 250,000 (eligible poor) Nigerians whom the government said could not pay for the services of screening, the government “appeals to private sector players, including foundations, to support the Federal Government in its quest to screen Nigerians for cancers by collaborating with us.”

Cancer Patients Dying

The authorities had admitted that they were not doing much to tame the surge of cancer in the country in the areas “of lack of basic equipment for treatment of cancer” as they said that 10,000 Nigerians die of the scourge yearly.

This acknowledgment was submitted by the authorities in Abuja on December 1 2017. It came even as the Federal Ministry of Health said the same year that at least 250,000 new cases of cancer were recorded yearly in Nigeria.

“Today, 10,000 cancer deaths are recorded annually while 250,000 new cases are recorded yearly in Nigeria,” the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole announced on Monday December 4 2017.

75% Percent Cancer Death By 2030

The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti during the 2018 World Cancer Day, said Africa which Nigeria is part of, may hit 75% death from cancer by 2030.

“The cancer death rate is expected to double by 2030. Seventy-five (75 per cent) per cent of cancer deaths in the world are recorded in low and middle-income countries such as African member states, partly due to late diagnosis. Fewer than 30 per cent of low income countries have access to cancer diagnosis and treatment services,” as according to Moeti.

But over the years there have been promises by the government to seeing that the hospitals had modern cancer equipment. These promises had met little or no implementation, let alone, execution. Unlike Nigeria, the review of International Atomic Energy Agencies of all countries conducted in 2013 showed that only South Africa and Egypt have the competence of treating cancer.

The likes of Adeniyi and Nwosu were therefore skeptical of the recent promise made by the Minister of Health, saying that 70 federal health establishments were earmarked to get N11.5bn as part of the special health intervention project.

According to the source, “The special intervention projects include the tertiary health institution project, revitalisation of 774 Primary Healthcare Centres in each local government area across the country, purchase of anti-retroviral drugs for 20,000 eligible Nigerians and nationwide screening of common cancers (particularly cancer of the cervix, breast and prostate).”

The Minister believed that today in Nigeria, “The federal teaching hospitals, medical centres and specialist hospitals across the six geopolitical zones that will benefit from the intervention include 21 federal teaching hospitals, 31 Federal Medical Centres, four specialist hospitals, 14 fistula and cleft lip/palate centres.”

He pointed out that under the project, “each of the federal teaching hospitals will receive N300m while the specialist hospitals will receive N200m each. The FMCs and the fistula centres will receive N120m and N50m respectively. Other projects include 10,000 free cataract surgeries (i.e. 250 cataract surgeries per state) and free treatment of 800 patients with confirmed diagnosis of hepatitis C infection.”

Much as his words sound nice, those who know better said that government would always have sweet talks as if it was out to help the cancer patients forgetting that majority of Nigerians do not have the wherewithal to cater for their health needs unlike those in the government who sprint to overseas without sweat.

Conversely, the key speaker at a summit on cancer in Abuja, Senior Health Specialist, International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, Dr. Olumide Okunola said, “We need to recognise and emphasise on public financing, Nigeria is spending the lowest in public health financing, per capital expenditure, and we need to upscale it.”

Therefore, it behooves the government to put all modalities in place to help cancer patients in Nigeria from going berserk where they are looking for funds to stay alive.

Odimegwu Onwumere is an award-winning journalist based in Rivers State, Nigeria. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Femi Otedola’s Kiss That Is Raising Eyebrows

By Odimegwu Onwumere

“Abraham Lincoln once said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother.” Ben Carson added, I’m not sure I want to say it quite like that, but my mother, Sonya Carson, was the earliest, strongest, and most impacting force in my life.”

{Femi Otedola Kissing His Mum}

The oil magnet and billionaire chairman of Forte Oil, Femi Otedola did not kiss a mummy or lust to a kiss that should warrant the clobbering he has been garnering from some persons since a picture showing him kissing the mother was made public.

According to a published text where the picture was attached, Otedola said that he would not have been what he has become today if not for the mother’s stoical stance in making sure that he succeeds. So, he kisses the mother out of nonsexual love.

While the oil magnet believed that he cannot pay the mother, Lady Doja Otedola enough, for her unlimited love to him, some persons believe that it is immoral for him to kiss her. In the words of an analyst, “This is immoral, for an adult mother and son to kiss on the lips! Shame!”

Whatever the persons in this line of thought were thinking, kissing is not a bad thing. But like psychologists would say, nothing is bad but the heart makes it so.

For instance, in Mark 7:21-23, NLT, “For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

Conversely, many great men in the world who became successful out of their mothers’ inspiration, guidance, and so on had done more than a mere kiss to their mothers. For example, Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr., popularly known as Ben Carson, a renowned American neurosurgeon born September 18, 1951, has not stopped praising the mother, Sonya Carson, in his four books: Gifted Hands, Think Big, The Big Picture, Take the Risk).

Yours truly have read three of the books except ‘Take the Risk”. In these books, Ben praises the mother than is expected of any man in love with a woman. And he has been thankful to the mother whom her husband left two children to take care of, for another woman, when Curtis and Ben were but kids.

The mother who merely had a sound education except for cleaning people’s houses for a pay, was not deterred to be encouraging Ben with his low performance in the primary school.

Ben said, “Part of Mother’s strength came from a deep-seated faith in God and perhaps just as much from her innate ability to inspire Curtis and me to know she meant every word she said. We knew we weren’t rich; yet no matter how bad things got for us, we didn’t worry about what we’d have to eat or where we’d live.

“Our growing up without a father put a heavy burden on my mother. She didn’t complain — at least not to us — and she didn’t feel sorry for herself. She tried to carry the whole load, and somehow I understood what she was doing. No matter how many hours she had to be away from us at work, I knew she was doing it for us. That dedication and sacrifice made a profound impression on my life.”

So, Otedola’s kiss on the mother’s lips is acceptable and even expected of such an illustrious son. It is not what those saying it is immoral think. It is the kind of kiss that the bible Jesus exhibited to his disciples, to say the least.

A Kelli Mahoney, an expert on kissing said, “And we kiss our family members as a normal expression of affection. In many cultures and countries, kissing is a common form of greeting among friends. So clearly, kissing is not always a sin. Of course, as everyone understands, these forms of kissing are a different matter than romantic kissing.”

Otedola has every reason to kiss, caress and hug the mother for her positive influence mostly in his life. Some people like him can never forget the un-daunting zest their mothers deposited in them through life. Yes, women are naturally-muscularly feeble but you cannot limit the length their inner strength can go in the cause of raising their children and you cannot limit the level their children could go to reciprocate their love to them.

This could be the reason Abraham Lincoln born February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865 who was an American statesman and lawyer, and served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865 once said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother.”

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Are You Using True Light or False Light?

BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: There is True Light and there is False Light. True Light is good while False Light is dangerous. You may not understand what I’ve written here if you are not who I AM. Many are on the False Light, on the wrong plane, and they pursue courses that soothe their ego, embellishing their ego with something that ignites the global trauma. Many people are modern than they look old, while few are ancient than they look young and are in the modern world. From today, start to cultivate, develop, and awaken, yourself no matter the terms, tradition or means you use. Do not forget to recite your mantras, do your meditation and prayer, rendering karmic selfless services and others. Your Chi (Energy or Holy Spirit) functions in tandem with the force of nature. The things of the spirit are not fanciful ideas. When we satisfy the causes, effects will result. And causes cannot be satisfied or effects result completely. This is the reason we must continue to do good and always hope that tommorrow will be better. The development of self in affinity with the cosmic laws leads to the True Light.
-Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant.

Local Content: Gulping Billions Of Dollars With Unfeasible Results In Oil And Gas Sector

In this report, Odimegwu Onwumere unearths that the utilisation of the local content in the oil and gas sector is still a tall dream since the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act was enacted in 2010; and $380b dollars or more have been lost in 50 years in the industry, upon the billions of dollars also being pumped in, to sustain the scheme

{Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board}

Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector and the federal government have been gasping for breath to fashion out a lasting plan for the utilisation of the local content in the sector since the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act was enacted in 2010. This socio-economic term, which is as old as man, has had setbacks in several occasions in the country with companies and the authorities pumping in money into the initiative that is habitually never accomplished. The incessant hope given by opinion leaders pointing out that by making use of local content, about $191 billion could be maintained, while 300,000 new nonstop job opportunities were green in such areas as engineering, sciences, technical services and manufacturing of the oil and gas sector, might have been dashed by the oil companies and Nigerian authorities.

The “exploration, production, manufacturing, fabrication, procurement and allied services sectors of the oil business” which were the canons for the implementation of local content in the oil and gas sector are not being realised with the attendant results they deserve. Most times, while the stakeholders push to accomplish the “value added in local oil industries”, they make loss upon creating proposed chances and heartening indigenous oil companies to vigorously take part in maximizing local content.

Investigation by this writer has revealed that the local content, which was supposed to be a win-win affair, has been laced with controversies by the different stakeholders; hence there is a gap in promoting alliance amid “national oil companies, local companies and international organization.” The local content initiative is still struggling to be all inclusive, because there is drought of enabling environment for business, therefore leading to un-optimized moves to carry out Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the companies involved and not insuring utmost earnings for all.

Billions Of Dollars On Local Content

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), defines local content in the oil and gas company as “The quantum of composite value added or created in the Nigerian economy through the utilization of Nigerian human and material resources for the provision of goods and services to the petroleum industry within acceptable quality, health, safety and environment standards in order to stimulate the development of indigenous capabilities.”

 

To realise this, experts have said that the government of Nigeria made mammoth venture up to $10 billion USD yearly to achieve 70% local content goal by the end of 2010 in the oil and gas sector. But as spectators have seen, the aim was defeated.

However, just on October 16, 2017, Vice Chairman/ Managing Director of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Mr. Massimo Insulla, while speaking during this year’s Nigerian Content Activities, hosted by Eni in Yenagoa, disclosed that the company spent over $5.4 billion in making sure that the Nigerian content gets to the peak in the last six years.

This is even as Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) said it spent $2.5 billion on local content development in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, “representing 65 per cent of the total Nigerian goods and services expenditures for the year.”

According to Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron, John Watson, “We do so through partnerships with national and local governments, national oil companies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and development agencies.”

Upon Companies Boast Of Expending Billion Dollars

Meanwhile, the Federal Government by August 24, 2017, had geared up to launch $200m (about N61bn at the official exchange rate of N305 to a dollar) local content interference fund. This was apart from its unyielding billions of dollars expended yearly to end local content quagmire by the end of 2010 that never came to light.

According to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the novel move was “in pursuant of the Business Environment and Investment Drive Component of the #7BIGWINS, known as a document of the ministry that focuses on the short and medium-term priorities targeted at growing the nation’s oil and gas industry between 2015 and 2019.”

But on the contrary, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) might not be certain with its compass’s navigation on the local content. On September 25 2017, in Lagos, the NCDMB said that it was looking up that the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) fund would hit $1 billion in the next three years. It could be sensed that the NCDMB was using permutation in carrying out its national duty than it was using betting. This is even as it had said through its Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote at a public hearing conducted by the Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream and Gas in Abuja on July 26 2017 that it intended to establish a Local Content Bank of Nigeria.

While the NCDMB might not be certain with accountability of the funds to the tone of trillions of naira dished out for various projects over the years, media reports affirmed, “The bank when set up will focus on establishment of facilities for domiciliation of services with emphasis on the optimal use of local resource inputs.”

Buttressing this, Wabote in December 2016, (during a media dialogue on his plans to make these companies to meet the terms with the Nigeria  Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010 by making a payment to the Fund) gave an insight that some companies do not remit their one per cent contributions to the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund.

Explaining, those who know better said, “The NCI Fund is a pool made available by the NCDMB to meet the funding needs of manufacturers, service providers and other key players in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. It was however, gathered that some upstream companies do not contribute to the NCI Fund at all.”

Meanwhile, this is contrary to a July 27 2017 report, stating, “On the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF), the Executive Secretary reported that international oil companies comply reasonably in remitting one percent of the value of their contracts but some service companies and indigenous operating firms default in their payment.”

$380bn Lost In Oil/Gas Sector Due To Lack Of Local Content

While Nigeria was boasting of the billions of dollars she had expended in boosting local content in the oil and gas sector, by September 2017, while speaking at an oil and gas forum held in Accra, Ghana, Wabote disclosed that a whooping sum of $380b dollars or more have been lost in 50 years in oil and gas industry in the country.

“This capital flight is due to the absence of regulation on local content development in the oil and gas industry,” said the source.

However, Wabote added, saying, “Local content development in Nigeria has brought about the domiciliation and domestication of value addition in the oil sector, culminating in 26 percent in-country value retention compared to the five percent prior to the enactment of the Local Content Act in 2010.”

While this lasted, at the opening of the sixth Practical Nigerian Content Conference, in Abuja, in September 2016, to enlarge implementation of the local content policy to the midstream and downstream of the oil and gas sector, Wabote had explained that “a blueprint would soon be unveiled to attract the needed investment to the sector. And besides the creation of industrial parks for the sector, the NCDMB is also working towards the establishment of three pipe mills across the country.”

100% Local Fabrication Of Modular Refineries

At the same time, Nigeria can be seen is confused on how to go about her local content, whereas in 1962 when Norway’s offshore oil industry took off, the country recorded a huge growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and by 1965, the Norwegian Petroleum Law was enshrined and by 1972, the local content law was enacted in Article 54 of the Royal Decree of 1972.

According to reports, “The Royal Decree of 1972 mandated that Norwegian government should vigorously pursue the goal of insuring that Norwegian goods and services be given preference in the running of the oil and gas industry, provided they were competitive in terms of price, quality, schedule and service.” But since the 50s oil was explored in Nigeria at Oloibiri, a small community in Ogbia LGA located in Bayelsa State, Nigeria was by August 24, 2017 ‘still’ initiating plans to achieve 100 per cent local fabrication and this is especially of modular refineries in Nigeria.

A discussion with the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), the federal government was also not certain when to achieve a lasting use of local content in the oil and gas sector. Just as it has been pumping billions of dollars in order to realise the local content by the end of 2010, the federal government through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu was not certain when the deadline for the local fabrication of oil vessels and Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessels (FPSO), would berth. This is even as “the Bank of Industry said the newly launched $200 million intervention fund could be used for contract financing and loan refinancing for oil companies.”

According to the media, “Speaking at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signing ceremony on the implementation of the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF), between BoI and the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Kachikwu said Nigeria would not continue to award contracts, but set deadlines on when to localise most of the vessels and projects in the country.”

Senate Uncertain With Local Content Implementation In Oil Industry

While the Malaysian oil industry began in the 1950s and objectives set for Malaysia’s oil and gas policy, which was to “maximise local benefits through the development of local capabilities and industrial base to support the growing onshore and offshore oil and gas industry”, Nigeria was thus far probing the local content implementation in the oil and gas industry in the country by July 18 2017.

The Red Chambers at the National Assembly was afraid that investors were not considering Nigerian companies while investing, hence the senate referred the investors to Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, which states inter alia: “Investors were mandated to consider Nigerian companies as an important element in their project development and management.”

According to news reports, “The Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Gas Resources has commenced investigation into the implementation of local content in the oil and gas industry in the country.

“Opening the session of an investigative hearing on the issue on Tuesday in Abuja, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, said the National Assembly was concerned with the level of implementation of local content in Nigeria.”

It is expected that the stakeholders in the oil and gas sector will get the local content right this time with Wabote saying recently that NCDMB was presently putting into practice a 10-year tactical roadmap fastened on transporting five pillars of sustainable local content, with an intention of attaining 70 per cent of local content in the next 10 years.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

{poem} Missing My Dad

By Odimegwu Onwumere

My Precious Father: Ichie L.M Onwumere

I didn’t know much

the importance of having a Dad

till these two years and,

of not being with one.

The bird in the hand

is often not cherished, adored,

till she escapes into the air.

Who can fly?

Many things we do not cherish today,

we regret when they are gone

tommorrow.

I don’t only miss my Dad;

some parts of me died

with his passing

(c) Oct. 18 2017; Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant.