ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Tuesday said that the board was not an intervention agency.
NCDMB stated this when it met with security agencies, host communities’ representatives and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the process of project initiation, execution and completion.
The NCDMB posited that in order to ensure that implementation of projects was not hindered and successfully completed for the benefits of the concerned communities and oil and gas industry, the host communities must live up to their bidding.
Those in attendance were paramount rulers, security agencies as well as the chairmen and secretaries of Community Development Committees, women and youth group leaders, among others.
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, stated these during the maiden edition of Interactive Session/Open Forum with representatives of the board’s projects host communities in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
He said the NCDMB was collaborating with oil majors and oil service companies to ensure seamless project implementation and execution.
Clarifying that the board was not an intervention agency involved in the exploration and exploitation of natural resources from the oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta, he declared that the NCDMB was set up to bring development, employment opportunities and industrialisation to the region.
Wabote said the explanation became imperative following the notion in some communities that the board was established as an intervention organisation.
Wabote, represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Daziba Patrick Obah, said the NCDMB collaboration with oil majors and oil services companies was to develop and launch the Community Content Guidelines (CCG), designed to guide the relationships between oil companies and their host communities.
He said the CCG would also provide clear definitions of various parties in a project and spell out the rights and responsibilities of all parties in the oil and gas projects.
Wabote pointed out that the board was serving as a catalyst for the industrialisation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors to promote the development and utilisation of in-country capabilities for the industrialisation of Nigeria through the effective implementation of the Nigerian Content Act.
While commending the community representatives for acknowledging NCDMB projects sited in their areas, he said: “I will like to use this opportunity to reiterate that the board is not an intervention agency. That should be very clear (to everyone).
“The board is not also into crude oil and gas production activities. However, we will make sure that we improve on our level of communication with you and any noticeable error in this regard is regretted.”
In his remarks, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Lakeview Communications Ltd, Chief Nathan Egba-Ologo, facilitators of the open forum, explained that the interaction was designed to formally bring the management of NCDMB and its host communities together.
Egba-Ologo said the whole essence was to have a friendly conversation and mutual understanding of issues bordering on their relationship in order for them to get direct feedback and not through a third party.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination, NCDMB, Dr Ginah O. Ginah, said the essence of the interaction was to create a direct channel of communication with host communities in line with the board’s Community Content Guideline.
He said the forum was also aimed at passing vital updates on the various stages of ongoing projects and encouraging host communities to support their speedy completion.
Ginah said the forum was also to give communities insights into employment and other economic benefits in the value chain of projects for their overall socio-economic development.