The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, Tony Attah, has revealed that at least 55 per cent of the scope of work on the newly signed Train 7 project of the NLNG would be domiciled and domesticated in Nigeria.
This means that over $5 billion of the $10 billion Train 7 project will be executed in Nigeria by Nigerian companies and mostly Nigerian personnel, a clear demonstration of the improved capacity of Nigerian companies and personnel in the oil and as sector.
This, according to Attah was made possible by the efforts of the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and its Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote.
The MD/CEO, NLNG made the revelation in Port Harcourt during a reception by the Junior Chambers International JCI, in honour of Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB on his reappointment for a second term of four years by President Mohammadu Buhari.
He showered accolades on the Executive Secretary, noting that it was the commitment and doggedness of Wabote and the NCDMB that ensured the commencement of the Train 7 project, adding that their commitment resulted in signing the project on May 13 2020, when the entire world was shut down due to the ravages of the Covid- 19 pandemic.
“The Executive Secretary took it personally upon himself to push for the success and we appreciate that and I must thank you very much for the wonders that you have done to the extent that when the contract was signed, May 13th this year that was right in the middle of the Covid-19 situation when the entire world was at a standstill”, he stated.
He went on to observe; “The world was shut down but the executive secretary was determined that Train 7 would not be shut down. He pushed hard to the extent that contract was signed against all odds when more than 50 per cent of all the other projects were cancelled or postponed across the world.
“To date, only one LNG contract has been taken across the world, so you can understand the game-changing capacity that the Executive Secretary has caused to happen, for Nigeria, for Nigerians, for Nigerian LNG and most importantly for the Niger Delta.”
Highlighting the importance of the Train 7 project to the Nigerian economy, the NLNG Managing Director stated: “I dare say that without the support of the Executive Secretary, personally committing, we may not have Train 7 today.
“Train 7 means 12,000 jobs directly and based on the board’s calculation 40,000 additional jobs indirectly.
“Let me dimension it for you, the relative peace that the entire Niger Delta enjoys today called the Amnesty Programme was 35,000 people who were positively put to some good and employment. So think about one project that is bringing the opportunity of 50,000 people directly or indirectly being gainfully employed then you understand what this man has done for Nigeria and did for Niger Delta.
On top of that we are talking 55 per cent of that scope will be domiciled and domesticated and Nigerians will be directly involved in more than half of the scope of this particular project and we are talking of over $10-billion in terms of the overall Train 7 investment.”
He also revealed that LPG consumption rate of Nigeria is about 3-million tonnes per annum with a potential of 5-million tons pointing out that with the partnership of the NCDMB under Simbi Wabote, the NLNG has encouraged the establishment of 16 off-takers of LPG and built a wholly Nigerian-owned LPG vessel.
“Of the 1-million tons, we supply 350,000 tonnes. We have enabled the sector, though there is still quite a lot of import. But as you would expect, as the sector grows our market share goes down, this will be our highest production year, delivering 380,000 tonnes to the extent that we have gone ahead to seek approval to bring 450,000 tons next year, again growing capacity”.
Speaking at the reception, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, said that working as the boss of the NCDMB for him had been exciting and challenging noting that it was not easy to cross from the private sector to work in the public sector in Nigeria.
He stated that what helped him was staying focused on the goal, to do his best to contribute to making a positive impact on the system.
He said: “For me, it has been an exciting journey. Leaving the private sector to work in the public sector is not an easy task, I must tell you. It’s challenging in itself particularly in our environment, but again it’s just focus and to continue to do what you think you can do. You can get frustrated but you know where the goal is, you focus on it and I can tell you, at some point, its possible to overcome”.
“It’s not a piece of cake, it’s a huge challenge and we go through that on a daily basis. In the private sector you know your stakeholders but when you are working with government you don’t know who your stakeholders are because they are everywhere and you have to navigate that process and by the grace of God he has continuously been on our side”.
Wabote added that his participation in JCI added more zest to his determination to offer his best to bring about change in the country, especially the oil and gas sector.
“My participation in Junior Chambers added a lot more zest to whatever I did as a person. This was the organisation that challenged me. It provides all the leadership that you can imagine. What you cannot et elsewhere. I look forward to when I will have the opportunity to be among the young ones to share some of my experiences that we had through this Junior Chamber International”, he stated.