Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of AbujaThe Nigerian Content Act in the oil and gas industry has created over 15,000 direct jobs since it was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan on April 22, 2010, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said.

Speaking at the weekend during the groundbreaking ceremony for Line Pipe Mill and Coating Facility being constructed in Ikaye Community in Ologbo area of Edo State by Technova Africa Group Limited, Alison-Madueke said the legislation had also created about 10,000 training and attachment opportunities for Nigerians since it was enacted.

The minister said the federal government would be anxious to see the Technova’s Pipe Mill project progress to completion because of the tremendous impact it would have on the host communities and Nigeria.

She identified increased commercial activities; opportunity for small businesses; creation of over 500 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs as some of the benefits of the Technova project.

Alison-Madueke, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Ernest Nwapa, gave an assurance that the federal government would also ensure that pipes would be ordered from the facility as soon the project was completed, stressing that the Nigerian Content Act provides that 100 per cent of the pipelines to be used in the oil and gas industry must be procured in Nigeria.

She said the provision of the Act had created opportunities for investors to take advantage of the position of the Act and commended Technova Africa Group Limited for going ahead with the project, despite not having pipe order yet.

“As you may all know, a lot of these products were usually imported from outside Nigeria and in this way, we were actually exporting opportunities for Nigerians to work; opportunities for Nigerians to learn how to do these things and opportunities to building technology. This is why the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan took a very major step a few months after he was made president by singing the Nigerian Content Act, which had been passed by the National Assembly, into law. The Nigerian Content Act is just a law that insists that we must do things like this in-country and make sure that we use that opportunity to create employment for our youth,” she explained.

“On our own part in the Ministry of Petroleum, we have insisted on a robust implementation of the Nigerian Content Act,” she added.

Earlier in a project overview, the Group Managing Director of Technova Africa Group Limited, Mr. Norbert Oleah, stated that in order to ensure that the project was actualised, his company had signed a multilevel Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Service Agreement with PSL Limited, the largest HSAW Pipe manufacturer in India.

“It may be interesting for you to know that by this project alone, Technova Africa Group plans to create direct employment for at least 500 Nigerians, as well as creation of over 300 spin off indirect jobs. I can in fact, further inform you that there will also be created by virtue of this project, at least 50 new spin off businesses for Nigerians,” he said.

Oleah stated that the project was his company’s further commitment to the federal government’s ongoing drive for local content in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Information from This Day was used in this report.