Mozambican business owners deplore excessive bureaucracy to hire foreign labour force
A lack of international certification is standing in the way of local small and medium companies (SMEs) providing services to the natural gas megaprojects under development in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, according to a report in Thursday’s issue of the daily newspaper “Noticias”.
Speaking at an international oil and gas conference in Maputo on Wednesday organised by the Mozambique Chamber of Commerce (CCM), the chairperson of CCM Juliao Dimande explained that certification costs a minimum of 50,000 US dollars. He argued that this is prohibitive at a time when SMEs lack financial robustness due to the state of the country’s economy.
CCM hosted the conference to promote local content under the theme “Empowering the active participation of SMEs in the oil and gas sector”. The conference took place ahead of a seminar on local opportunities in the hydrocarbon sector which is being organised on Friday in Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado, by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy and the US oil company Anadarko.
Anadarko is the operator of Offshore Area One of the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of Cabo Delgado, where reserves of at least 75 trillion cubic feet of gas have been found. It is planning on building two gas liquefaction plants on the Afungi peninsula in Palma district which will produce 12.88 million tonnes of LNG per year. Anadarko is due to take its final investment decision in the first half of next year, with production beginning in 2023 or 2024. During this period there will clearly be huge business opportunities in construction, transport, housing, catering, security and other services.
Dimande told the CCM conference he hopes that the Pemba seminar will help SMEs with clear guidance on how they can gain certification at a competitive price so they can contribute to developing the national economy. He recognised certification will be awarded internationally as the National Norms and Quality Institute (INNOQ) lacks the technical requirements. Therefore, he argued the government and multinational corporations should create a platform through which SMEs can access certification at a relatively low cost.
Dimande noted this meeting was an opportunity for international and national companies to share ideas on how local content can be built into the megaprojects.
One of the guest speakers, the former Angolan Secretary of State for the Treasury, Joao Quipipa, argued the most important thing is that the contracts are well designed as the development of the oil sector needs transparency.
The seminar in Pemba is expected to draw in entrepreneurs from throughout the country. The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy and the Confederation of Business Associations (CTA) have announced that a special flight between Maputo and Pemba is being laid on for attendees, leaving at five in the morning and returning at nine in the evening.