By Tanko Mohammed
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja virtually inaugurated the 17-storey new headquarters of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa.
The President who directed minister of state for petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, to cut the tape on his behalf, pledged to spend more on infrastructure across the country.
He said he would focus on finishing projects delivered by local contractors and technology that create jobs for thousands of Nigerians.
The President said the iconic building, known as the Nigerian Content Tower, with the full complements of a 10MW Power Plant and 1000-seater Conference Centre, reflects his administration’s drive to provide infrastructure across the country to attract investments, create jobs and eradicate poverty.
‘‘With the commissioning of this project, I want to highlight that we have put in place a landmark of reference in the Niger Delta to reflect long lasting legacies that signpost the years of oil and gas exploitation and I assure you that there is more to come,’’ he said.
President Buahri used the occasion to express his delight that thousands of direct and indirect jobs were created during the execution of the project in addition to the various business opportunities.
‘‘This commissioning brings to the fore the importance of local content in all activities of our national life especially with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
‘‘I believe strongly in local production and patronage of our goods and services as one of the surest ways to empower our citizens and give them viable opportunities to excel in their chosen professions and business endeavours.
‘‘That is why two of the Executive Orders issued under our government are related to enforcing local content in public procurement and contracts to further replicate the successes being realized in the oil and gas industry.
‘‘Local content and self-reliance are key principles of the recently approved N2.3 trillion for the Economic Sustainability Plan.
The plan is aimed at the promotion of local production, local services, local innovation, and the use of local materials,’’ he said.
Commending the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the Chairman and members of the Governing Council, as well as the management and staff of the Nigerian Content Board for this achievement, the President said:
‘‘The edifice we are commissioning today is a befitting birthday gift as you mark your 10th-year anniversary as a regulator and developer of local content in the oil and gas industry.
‘‘I am also pleased that this project has been delivered by local contractors supported by other local engineering and project consultants. We must all be proud that we finished what we started.
‘‘Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for being part of this historic moment even as I use this opportunity to thank the people of Bayelsa and congratulate them as the proud host of this landmark project in the heart of the Niger Delta.
‘‘It is with great pleasure that I am directing the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to commission the 10MW Power Plant, the 1000-seater Conference Centre to be known as the NCDMB Conference Centre and also commission the iconic 17-storey building to be known as the Nigerian Content Tower on my behalf’’.