What Truly Is Nigerian Content? By Dr Ibilola Amao

Nigerian Content in the Upstream petroleum sector is defined as the quantum of composite value added or created in the Nigerian economy through a deliberate utilization of Nigerian human and material resources for the provision of goods and services without compromising quality, health, and safety and environmental standards”.

Nigerian Content is about growing indigenous capacity and capabilities. It is about developing and utilizing our natural and human resources to grow our economy thereby creating jobs for our children. It is about planning our national consumption of goods and services, in such a way that local production becomes the norm in the medium to long term, so that all our export earnings do not go into making other nations rich at the expense of us and our children. We should dictate the tune because we pay the piper. We must change our “consumption capacity” into “business

What Truly Is Nigerian Content? By Dr Ibilola Amao

opportunities”, so that our economy can grow, and provide real employment opportunities for our people

Nigerian Content is all about value addition. It is a journey of a thousand miles that begins with the first step of patriotism, humility and a simplicity of mind to accept that there are international standards. We must rise above the chaotic system of our society and stop giving excuses for why things should be done the Nigerian way, instead, let’s discover better ways of doing things whilst aspiring to achieve international standards.

Nigerian Content is about mastering an art of service delivery, acquiring technology and knowledge, building appropriate capacity, capability and competencies that are required to meet targets, developing the right (inter and intra) partnerships, alliances, strategies for Joint Ventures and Consortia efforts, understanding the implication of schedules, costs, quality, health and safety.

Nigerian Content is all about engaging in best practices, developing organisations and institutions with good corporate governance, implementing systems, processes and procedures that would ensure global competitiveness. Nigerian Content requires a consciousness that overrides tribe and culture. It needs to operate beyond geopolitical preferences. Global competitiveness must be the basis for decision making rather that the norm of quota systems, resource sharing or political affiliations.

Nigerian Content is about strategic thinking, planning and implementation for the sake of 170 million Nigerians who did not choose to be born as Nigerians but to whom the leadership must be responsible. National development planning should be categorised into short, medium and long-term with milestones and targets set so that we can benchmark our performance, growth and development.

Nigerian Content is not about shifting the goal post so that a contract is awarded to a Nigerian friend whilst merit, quality and safety is jeopardised. It is not a license to break rules and promote mediocrity. It is not an opportunity to hijack opportunities that rightfully belong to many Nigerians because you are privy to some insider information, It is also not an agent or agency operating on commission basis while the work is still being taken out of the country.

Nigerian Content is not about figures. It is all about poverty alleviation, job and wealth creation. It is about movement from the agrarian age to the industrial, information technology and then the ideas age. It’s all about the implementation of processes and procedures. It’s about optimising and maximising the value of our crude and natural resources and then processing, refining and transforming them into finished products that would attract the highest value and worth from the international and local buyers.

What Nigeria so desperately needs is excellent leadership, way makers, trail blazers, futuristic planners, role models and world renowned technocrats. Builders of institutions and organisations, People of transparency and integrity. A leadership with a conscience who can make themselves accountable to 140 million others. We need our own John. D. Rockefeller’s, Andrew Carnegie’s, William Vanderbilt’s, Andrew Mellon’s, Henry Ford’s, Sam Walton’s, Bill Gates’, Paul Getty’s, Howard Hughes’.

There is poverty in the mind and spirit currently reigning in Nigeria today. Nigerian Content can not become a reality until the content of the Nigerian mind and intellect becomes truly Nigerian. If flying first class, buying the best cars inspite of our disgraceful roads, acquiring homes overseas and stashing away funds offshore is your goal and objective then I wonder if the capital flight implications of your actions qualifies you as a Nigerian Content contractor.

As we work towards a better goal of a Vision 2020, I hope that we will come out with some tangible deliverables from our actionable items. Our journey of a thousand miles can commence with re-familiarisation with our two National Anthems that this country has experienced.

Rather than give a bribe in respective of the business at stake, please give that fellow Nigerian who has requested for “something for the boys” an envelope that has a crisp white A4 paper folded with the under-listed anthems neatly signed and sealed. Reading thus:

My dear Uncle, Brother, Aunty, Sister or Friend, or Dear Sir, Chief, Alhaji, Dr, Apostle etc.

“Arise, O Compatriots” (1978-present)

Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey. To serve our Fatherland, With love and strength and faith. The labour of our heroes past, shall never be in vain, To serve with heart and might, One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.

O God of creation, Direcd our noble cause; Guide our Leaders right: Help our Youth the truth to know, In love and honesty to grow, And living just and true, Great lofty heights attain, To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.

And or

“Nigeria We Hail Thee” (1960-1978)

Nigeria we hail thee, Our own dear native land, Though tribe and tongue may differ, In brotherhood we stand, Nigerians all are proud to serve our sovereign Motherland.

Our flag shall be a symbol, that truth and justice reign, In peace or battle honour’d, And this we count as gain, To hand on to our children. A banner without stain.

O God of all creation, Grant this our one request, Help us to build a nation where no man is oppressed, And so with peace and plenty. Nigeria may be blessed.”

Yours faithfully

A Fellow Nigerian

Whichever is most appropriate can be used and in very extreme cases please use both.

Please send me any comments, reactions or testimonies from these practical steps of OPERATION #CHANGE NIGERIA. We are concerned primarily with the Oil and Gas sector, however we are keen to see the impact of the sectors activities on infrastructure, power, transportation, telecommunications, textiles, education, health etc. See you next month.

About the Author

Dr. Ibilola Amao is a Principal Consultant with Lonadek Consulting, a firm of technical consultants with their core competence in the area of local content development, due diligence, SME, Youth and Women Empowerment, technology transfer, systems implementation and engineering support services. For more information or to reach Dr. Amao you can email her at lolaamao@lonadek.com or visit www.lonadek.com.


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