The Nigerian Content Plan is a key requirement of the Nigerian Oil and Gas IndustryContent Development Act 2010 (“NCA”). This paper briefly examines the issueswhich must be considered in preparing such a plan.
Section 7 of the NCA requires operators
to submit a plan showing compliance withthe Nigerian content requirements of the Act, as part of the condition for biddingfor a licence, permit or other oil and gas interest and before the execution of anyproject in the industry. Whilst the wording of this section suggests the plan shoulddemonstrate historical compliance of an operator with the Act, sections 12 and 13,which deal with the contents of the plan require a forward programme indicatinghow an operator intends to comply with the provisions of the Act. We suggest thatthe latter interpretation is the correct one. As stated in section 7, a plan would be required when “...bidding for any licence,permit or interest...” By virtue of this provision a Nigerian Content Plan (the “Plan”)would be required to be submitted for government acreage awards. This wouldmean that information regarding any bidding rounds must be made available by thegovernment licensing body in sufficient time for a Plan to be drawn up, submittedand approved. This is likely to require up to two months. A Plan is also required “...before carrying out any project in the Nigerian oil andgas industry...” Whilst this provision may seem very wide in the sense that it coversevery type of project in which an operator might be involved in respect of a fieldoperation, we suggest that in practical terms, it would mean no more than the Planbeing required when such projects require some form of government/regulatoryapproval. For example, a Field Development Programme in an upstream project
Companies in this category include NNPC, its subsidiaries and joint venture partners and any Nigerian or foreign orinternational oil and gas company operating in the Nigeria oil and gas industry under any petroleum arrangement. SeeSection 109 of the Act.