NCDMB offers ‘first mover advantage’ for investors at oil parks

*Dignitaries at the the Develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit

James Michael

Leeds, England — The first original equipment manufacturers, OEMs, service companies and other oil and gas firms that would set up operations in the Nigerian oil and gas parks would enjoy certain first mover privileges, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, has assured.

NCDMB’s Director of Corporate Services, Mr. Patrick Daziba Obah, made this pledge at the second day of the 2023 edition of the Develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit. He noted, specifically, that “first mover advantage” is guaranteed to such investors at the US$1 billion Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme, NOGAPS, facility at Ilaje, Ondo State, currently being developed by the Board.

The oil and gas park scheme is a purpose-built industrial park with manufacturing shop floors and factories, warehouses, training centres, mini estates, truck parking and holding spaces, fire stations, administrative blocks, and security services, among other things and is a critical initiative of the Board geared towards in-country capacity development through local manufacture of equipment components and spare parts required in the oil and gas industry.

Currently, two of the parks at Odukpani, Cross River State, and at Emeyal 1, Bayelsa State, are at 99 per cent completion, and interested companies have begun to take up shop floors, preparatory to the commencement of operations.  Six parks have been conceptualised and are located at different parts of the country and they form a key part of NCDMB’s strategy for sustainable local content development and industrialisation.

Speaking at a plenary session of the investment summit with special focus on “Port Ondo as Golden Opportunity to Developing Opportunities in Manufacturing/Economic Zones/Logistics Base,” Obah said the park, by its proximity, would significantly facilitate take-off of companies at the proposed deep sea port.

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Drawing attention to such facilities as warehouses, logistics base, office spaces/manufacturing shop floors, a world-class training centre, which are crucial in the beginning phase of businesses, he declared, “we have all the oil- and gas-producing companies with us – all the people in the value chain of the oil and gas industry, including hospitality, are with us.”  “You won’t have to worry about power; you won’t have to worry about water or security,” he added.

Obah, who was represented by the Acting General Manager, Directorate of Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Silas Ajimijaye, lauded the Ondo State Government for its bold initiative in undertaking the project which as Governor Arakunrin Akeredolu stated would “serve as a conduit” for locally produced goods, agricultural produce, and “very soon, our bitumen.”

He also thanked the State Government for “giving the Board all support that is necessary for the Park to take off,” particularly in facilitating the Board’s efforts to pay compensation to communities for the land acquired.

Also speaking on the subject of port development, the Managing Director, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, Professor Adesoji Adesugba, advised the State Government on appropriate steps to follow to ensure the facility enjoys the full benefits of a free trade zone as already approved by the Federal Government. He said companies operating in such a zone enjoy “exemption from tax ad infinitum,” among other things.

Represented by the Authority’s Director, Investment Promotion and Investors Services, Sir Innocent Uzoechi, he drew attention to the Lekki Free Trade Zone and Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, to appreciate the scale of industrial development Ondo could achieve through operationalisation of its free trade zone.

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