The success of that exercise as seen today, most notably in Conoil, led to another exercise in 1999 under the Obasanjo regime when marginal fields were awarded to Nigerian entrepreneurs.
With Nigerians showing enterprise and capacity to run oil and gas companies, it was only a matter of time before a deliberate policy that would provide a framework for oil servicing companies would be made; thus privileging indigenous oil servicing companies and giving them a part of the lucrative pie hitherto enjoyed by the big international companies like Schlumberger, Haliburton and Baker Hughes.
The political will was provided by the establishment of the (NCMB), which was charged with the responsibility of managing the coordination, monitoring and implementation of the new Local Content law.
Century Group, where I administer and execute strategy has been in operation since 2002, were thus in prime position to demonstrate capacity to play in the new dispensation. 10 years down the line, Century Energy Services Limited, a member of the Century Group and others like Tecon Oil Services, Delta Marine Oil Services Ltd, Damagix Nigeria Limited, Ciscon Services, Chrome Oil, Denca Services, AOS Orwell, Petrok Oil and Gas, Tricon, Maerlin Ltd, etc., has demonstrated that Nigerian companies can provide bespoke and world class oil servicing support to the industry.
This is great news for an industry that is creating job opportunities, fostering economic prosperity and halting capital flight as well as ample demonstration of the Nigerian spirit of enterprise. The value creation and exchange that companies like Century Group, PFL Engineering, First Marine, IGPES Gas & Power have been able to contribute using local resources is phenomenal.
The capacity, experience and aggregate assets that are now owned by indigenous companies proves how far the local content policy has come.
Ken Etete, Group CEO of Century Energy writes from Lagos.