Akpevweoghene: Showcasing Nigerian Local Content
SYLVESTER IDOWU writes on the recent visit of Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke to Warri, Delta State, to commission Fenog Nigeria Ltd’s Africa’s largest Offshore Pipelaying/Derrick Barge christened “Akpevweoghene,” as part of efforts by the Federal Government to encourage local investors in the oil and gas services sector to promote the Nigerian Local Content policy.
Nigerian Local Content is working. This must be what was in the mind of the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke last month, as she alighted from her official vehicle at the premises of Fenog Nigeria Ltd, an indigenous oil services company to commission Africa’s largest oil vessel christened Akpevweoghene.
Immediately she alighted and saw the vessel with the capacity to accommodate over 300 personnel at a go, she smiled and looked at the direction of the Executive Director of the company, Mr. Matthew Tonlagha, patting him on the back. “You have done well. We are proud of you,” she said, nodding her head in appreciation of what she saw in the company’s yard.
An elated Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who lauded the company for its massive investment on capacity- building aimed at driving the Nigerian Local Content towards the right direction, held that she was impressed with FENOG on its investment that has given jobs to thousands of unemployed people in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
The petroleum minister, in her remarks at the landmark ceremony witnessed by the Group Executive Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andy Yakubu and his Gas Resources counterpart, Dr. David Ige as well as the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engineer Ernest Nwapa, assured that the Federal Government would continue to support and encourage indigenous companies which are operating in the oil industry in line with the local content policy of the Federal Government.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who was visibly impressed by the giant strides achieved by FENOG, especially with the company’s acquisition of the HDD Technology and the Akpevweoghene barge, said that the local content policy was not about lip service and mere slogan. She said the policy would entrench indigenous operators in the nation’s oil industry.
The minister, who was conducted round and briefed about the unique features of the equipment by the company’s Executive Director, Mr. Mathew Tonlagha; Group General Manager, Mr. Bello Oboh and General Manager, Engineer Chukwudi Uwakwe, praised FENOG’s management for its steadfastness and commitment to the growth of the local content policy.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke asked other operators in the oil industry to emulate FENOG Nigeria Ltd, saying that; “I am extremely impressed with what I have seen here today at FENOG Nigeria Ltd; this is 100 per cent indigenous Nigerian company that has got to the stage that it can actually procure and manage a vessel of this size that can carry about 300 people. With the kind of facilities that we have seen here today and that can actually lay pipes offshore from 43 to 363 and I think that is something that is most commendable and it is also an obvious indication that Nigerian Content is actually working also and working for Nigerians.
“I want to commend FENOG because this is what we are hoping many other operators in the downstream service sector of the oil and gas industry will begin to replicate. Until we are able to ensure that Nigerian indigenous companies fully come into their own in the manner that FENOG has, we will not be content,” she added.
Earlier, Mr. Tonlagha thanked the minister for sparing time to inaugurate the barge, adding that, “The visit has reassured us that we have taken the right decision by our investment in local content development and her action would convince stakeholders within and outside Nigeria that President Goodluck Jonathan is serious about the Nigerian Local Content and will further encourage other Nigerians to invest in Nigerian content development. But we want to urge the petroleum minister to prevail on the multi-national oil companies to engage FENOG in their offshore pipeline campaign, so that the hope of Nigerians investing on capacity building will not be in vain.”
According to Mr. Tonlagha, “We in FENOG are very happy that we have become a pace setter in the oil and gas industry because, among the indigenous Nigerian companies, since the bill (Local Content Development Bill) was signed into law, FENOG has been the highest investor. In July last year, the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa commissioned FENOG’s PD 500 HDD RIG which is the latest edition of HDD RIGS in the whole world; we are investing heavily because of the hope that we have in the Nigerian Content.”
He added that, “Today, the petroleum minister has commissioned our offshore Lay Barge known as Akpevweoghene and we are very happy with the way the Nigerian Content is going. I want to commend the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Austen Oniwon, for enforcing the Nigerian Local Content on the oil companies.”
The FENOG Offshore Pipelaying Derrick Barge, Akpevweoghene just commissioned by the minister, according to Tonlagha, “can lay pipe offshore from 23 to 603 pipe offshore from the depth of 200 to 300 feet above and it can also lift heavy duty equipment of about 1,000 tons because the crane there is 1,000 tons, that is the highest crane in the whole of Africa.”Share