Nigerian Oil and Gas Indigenous Operators Association (NOGIOA) has described as baseless and diversionary, the allegations against Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Galadima Auwal, chairman of NOGIOA said this move is a trademark of some disingenuous persons within the online media space and therefore should be disregarded. Auwal noted that the allegation being peddled by a faceless group called the New Nigeria Global Initiative (NNGI) purported to be a coalition of civil society groups is nothing short of blackmail.
The said group, NNGI had claimed that it has evidence of allegation of fraud, violation of United States Banking Rules and Regulation, Racketeering, Financial Misappropriation and Acts of Treachery Bordering on Treason, amidst so many other claims published by some infamous online news platforms and which is aimed at tarnishing the image of Wabote.
In a statement released in Abuja, NOGIOA noted that the allegations against the executive secretary of NCDMB are malicious, baseless and a deliberate ploy to divert the attention of the executive secretary from the goal of delivering a sound and solid local content framework for Nigeria which is the primary purpose of the NCDMB and for which the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Mohammed Buhari, is firmly committed.
The statement noted that these kinds of allegations of fraud which will never be proved are not new, saying that often faceless organizations, individuals, and groups, such as the NNGI said to be represented by one Ahmed Yusuf, come forward to seek ways to blackmail and extort public officers using such veiled and baseless allegations of fraud, allegations which can never be substantiated and which are only intended to put public officers in blacklight before the public.
The statement challenged the group to tender the said evidence or claims before security agencies both in Nigeria and the United States and be willing to appear as witnesses.
The statement observed that “a lot of key players in the oil and gas industry have commended the efforts of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board NCDMB under the capable leadership of Engr. Simbi K. Wabote.”
It noted that the said Jackson Ude who is behind these allegations and a publisher of Point-blank News is a known blackmailer with no proper sense of professionalism while urging. Simbi Wabote is not to be distracted by the professional blackmailer who is a Nigerian bent on abusing the privileges of the United States. It also urged that the United States FBI should investigate Jackson Ude on how he makes his money.
The statement went further to highlight the sterling achievements of the NCDMB under the leadership of Wabote as executive secretary. It stated that with an outstanding vision to transform the local content architecture of Nigeria, the executive secretary has been able to midwife new innovations which have brought tremendous progress to the Oil&Gas industry.
“Engr. Wabote brought his project management skills into the construction of the Board’s new headquarters building complex, leading to the completion of a 17-story office building, 1,000 seating auditorium, and multi-level car park. He also pioneered the development and oversaw the deployment of Service Level Agreements (SLA) between the Board and the Nigeria LNG, Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) and Indigenous Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), which has reduced the tendering cycle time to six months and fast tracks development of new projects. Under his watch, NCDMB catalyzed the successful integration of one of the largest Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) in-country at the SHI-MCI yard in the LADOL Free Trade Zone and facilitated in-country integration of six modules on the Egina FPSO, the first time in the entire Gulf of Guinea.
“Engr. Wabote also introduced key signature events into the Oil&Gas industry calendar such as the bi-annual Nigerian Oil&Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) and the Nigerian Research and Development Fair (R&D Fair), to showcase the oil industry’s opportunities for investment and galvanize research capabilities respectively. He has also used the annual Practical Nigeria Content Conference and Exhibition to set the agenda for the industry going forward. In energizing Local Refining, Engr. Wabote championed NCDMB’s equity investment in Waltersmith’s modular refinery and Azikel Modular refinery and other strategic capacity development initiatives in the hydrocarbon value-chain in line with the Board’s vision to catalyze the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
“It is worthy of note that what these very audacious achievements point to is the fact that Engr. Wabote has been able to transform the Nigeria Oil&Gas industry through robust initiatives with NCDMB as the Local Content only agency of repute and results to show. It is of note that through the various initiatives in Nigeria under the leadership of the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, many other African Oil Producing countries are following the local content program as enshrined in the Act 2010. These initiatives have helped to encourage Nigerian-owned Oil & Gas Companies while also encouraging local refining. Through his effort as the Executive Secretary, Engr. Wabote has ensured that Nigeria gained a lot from the local content through the drastic reduction in foreign labor and capital flights”. The statement noted.