Engr. Ernest Nwapa, the Executive Secretary of The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has charged indigenous service companies to explore creative strategies of motivating their staff so as to retain the skills and capacities they have developed within their companies.
Nwapa stated this at the long term service award organized recently in Warri by Wellmann Group, an indigenous oil servicing firm with expertise in heavy lifting and marine transportation, which offered stakes in the company to four of its long serving staff as strategy of rewarding and further motivating them. Other recipients of the awards were the company’s strategic partners and clients like Nigerdock, Shell, Chevron, Subsea7, and Total among others.
Ernest, who was represented at the event by the board’s General Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation, Engr. Chijioke Okorie, explained that retaining quality staff within service companies was fundamental to developing Nigerian Content as it would help firms develop institutional, technological and infrastructural capacities to deliver on projects. Okorie described the achievements of Wellmann as a confirmation that the board’s implementation strategies were working and yielding results.
According to him, “There were a number of jobs that some operating companies tried to give out to international service companies. The board intervened and the jobs were placed with Wellmann. That helped to build the company’s capacity and infrastructure over the years. Wellmann is a good representative of Nigerian Content and the board is proud of its growth.”
In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of Wellmann Group, Mr. Chris Iyovwaye, explained that the benefitting employees had worked devotedly in the establishment for over 10 years and had become stakeholders of the company.
He noted that they joined when the company was barely able to pay meager salaries; hence, they deserve to receive a percentage of profit declared at the end of every financial year.
Iyovwaye commended the NCDMB for its implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, crediting the policy for the growth of the company, especially in an area that was dominated by foreign players.
He further stated that “Wellmann is just one of the many success stories scattered all over Nigeria, doing well because of the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act. With determination and focus, we have grown from a company that hires equipment whenever it wanted to work, to a company that owns every type of equipment whenever it goes to work”.
The CEO listed some of the company’s equipment to include self-propelled modular trailers, with capacity to lift and transport over 4000 tons of structures at a single lift; modular jacking and weighing systems; offshore barges; ballast and mooring equipment and cranes.
He further attributed the success of the company to the ploughing back of resources generated from the business and expressed readiness to invest further in barging and tugboat business, which according to him, is still dominated by foreign companies, thus, contributing to huge capital flight.
In his comments, the Managing Director of Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC), Engr. Paul Obelley, extolled NCDMB for creating a climate that has encouraged Nigerians companies to thrive.
Obelley, who chaired the event, stated that “no matter how much Nigeria is rich in crude oil, if our people do not get involved in the service end of the industry, we would remain poor and unable to create jobs.”
According to him, the Nigerian Content Act is a good initiative for unlocking the wealth of the economy for Nigerians.