ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote, has won the African Local Content Icon Award.
The NCDMB boss was officially presented the award on Friday at a ceremony organised by the United Kingdom-based African Leadership Magazine held at the Local Content Tower conference centre in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
A member of the African Leadership Magazine delegation and President-elect, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, USA, Laura Hall, who is also a serving member of Alabama House of Representatives, presented the award to Wabote.
Other members of the delegation were the magazine’s Group Managing Editor, Kingsley Okeke, a member of the editorial board, Nigeria, Awa Kalu, as well as a former Chairman of Georgia Congressional Black Caucus, Dee Dawkins-Haigler.
In 2018, Wabote received the Global Local Content Advocacy Award by African Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa.
Speaking after receiving the award, the excited Wabote said the award was unique and significant as it highlighted the importance of local content within Africa and across the world, considering the pushback against efforts at developing local content.
He said the recognition had challenged the NCDMB to work even harder to promote the essence of local content, especially in Nigeria and within the continent.
Wabote said: “I think it’s quite significant for us in Nigeria as well as in Africa. For me, it’s recognition of that focus, dexterity, perseverance to push an agenda for the development of Nigeria by Nigerians themselves.
“For the NCDMB, it will translate into a lot. It will spur us to a greater height and encourage us to understand that what we are doing is being seen and recognised globally as a game changer, particularly in the oil and gas sector. So, it will rather challenge us to do more in terms of local content development.”
He thanked the organisers for the honour bestowed on him.
Wabote also expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for their support and encouragement to the board.
He also commended workers of the board for their commitment and dedication to duty and the effective collaboration they had been demonstrating in the execution of projects and programmes of the board.
Prior to the presentation, Okeke had explained that Wabote emerged winner of the African Local Content Icon Award from 15 entries through a global voting process.
“Sixty to 70 persons submitted materials to support why Simbi Wabote should be awarded in that particular category,” Okeke stated.