L-R: Vice Chancellor, Imo State University (IMSU), Prof. Uchefula Chukwumaeze, SAN, FCArb; Governor, Imo State, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma; Director, Planning, Research & Statistics, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Patrick Daziba Obah, & Pro-Chancellor IMSU and pioneer Executive Secretary NCDMB, Dr. Ernest Nwapa, at IMSU’s 8th Convocation ceremony on Saturday at Owerri.
For his excellent contributions to the growth and transformation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and the towering leadership he has provided for the development of local content in Nigeria and Africa, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, was on Saturday conferred with a Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa at the 8th convocation of the Imo State University, Owerri.
The award was received on his behalf by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics,NCDMB, Mr. Patrick Daziba Obah, who dedicated it to the management and staff of the Board for their excellent performance on their job functions and accomplishments, which continue to receive positive reviews from government and other industry stakeholders.
In attendance at the event were important personalities, including the Imo State Governor, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and former Governor Rochas Okorocha, now a serving Senator of the Federal Republic, as well as the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Uchefula Chukwumaeze.
In the citation on Engr. Wabote, an alumnus of Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, and Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, the Imo State University stated: “Prior to his current appointment as the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, he had an exceptional career in Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), spanning over 26 years. During his time in SPDC, he held several leadership roles and positions, including Executive Director; General Manager Local Content, and General Manager, Business and Government Relations.”
Continuing, the citation read, “In 2017, under his steer, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board developed a 10-Year Strategic Road Map with the key objective of achieving 70% Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry; creating 300,000 direct jobs; establishing major fabrication facilities in-country as well as hubs for the manufacture of equipment, components and accessories required by the oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors.”
In honouring Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, the authorities of Imo State University were holding up him as a model public servant, a thought leader in local content, astute manager of men and resources, who has acquired significant academic knowledge and applied it practically in transforming an important sector in the Nigerian economy.
It showed in his success story at SPDC and even more at NCDMB, where the organization has surpassed performance targets in several areas, including development of indigenous technical capability, and had upped Nigerian content from 26% in 2016 to 54% at the end of 2022.
Others who received honourary doctorate degrees were Nigeria’s first and only woman State Governor, Her Excellency, Dame Virgy Ngozi Etiaba, who served between November, 3, 2006 and February 9, 2007, when the then Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi was impeached, before the Court of Appeal overturned the impeachment; Chief Oliver Chukwudum Alawuba, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa Plc, and Chief Chika Emenike (NPOM), Chief Executive Officer, Kotec Group of Companies.
This honourary doctorate degree is coming in the wake of several other national and international recognitions bestowed on the Executive Secretary and the Board in recent months.
On Tuesday last week, the Executive Secretary received the Leadership Local Content Champion of the Year Award at the 14th Leadership Conference and Awards held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. Also on Wednesday, the Board was adjudged as “a Level 5 Platinum Level organization” in a summary report of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Self-assessment Tool (SAT).
Other notable awards received by the Board recently included the conferment of the Distinguished Capacity Development Award conferred on the Executive Secretary by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) in October 2022 and the recognition accorded to NCDMB as the best among all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the Executive Order (EO1) performance ranking for Ease of Doing Business from January to June 2022