The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) Monday stated that it had expended over $ 5.4 billion in-country to grow Nigerian content in the last six years.
Vice Chairman/ Managing Director of NAOC, Mr Massimo Insulla, who spoke during this year’s Nigerian Content Activities, hosted by Eni in Yenagoa with the theme : ‘Succession Planning’, said the money was spent mainly to ensure Nigerians have access to energy resources and related projects.
Insulla , who hosted several businessmen from the Niger Delta and the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Seriake Dickson, noted that the commitment of the company to completing the Zabazaba Deep offshore project, IPP phase 2 , the construction of a brand new 150,000bpd refinery and support for the refurbishment of the Port Harcourt refinery underscores it’s seriousness in supporting local content in the country.
He added that in the last 55 years,NAOC has provided support to Nigerians in terms of access to water, healthcare, education, social infrastructure employment, human capacity development through skills acquisition and food security through the Green River project.
On this year’s theme ‘Succession Planning,’ lnsulla noted that the two-day workshop would train about 180 contractors and vendors, proprietors of small businesses with skills and best practices on planning for continuity and sustainability of their businesses.
“It is designed to equip managers of small/medium businesses with skills in planning continuity and sustainability of their businesses when there is exit by way of incapacitation or retirement or old age,” the NAOC Chief Executive said.
In his comments, Dickson, who flagged off the two-day workshop, lauded the oil giant and vowed that his administration would never play politics with issues of development.
“ This is the kind of change we want to see , not the other kind of change . The change of contributing to our state. This is the way to grow this economy.
“We won’t play politics with these things. Whether Agip or any oil producing company, we shouldn’t extend politics there. All we are interested in as a government is to work and see how we can change the narrative of underdevelopment ,insecurity, and poverty in this state,” Dickson said.
He added that his government was doing a lot of work to provide power and the Industrial Park which will have 24-hour power supply.
“This state is for partnership and for doing good. We cannot use the instrumentality of government to create wealth. How many can government employ?. Very few, especially in this recession.
“I don’t care who owns the business, all I care is that the person is from Bayelsa State. We want to know how many Bayelsa people are supported by Zabazaba for example,” he said.
In his presentation, Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) urged participants to access funds through the Board at interests as low as five percent rather than go to banks that charge as high as 30 per cent.