THE Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, in collaboration with other investors are set to invest $1.8 billion in ship repair and dry docking business in the country to boost the economy and increase trade. The facility, according to its promoters, would be built in Badagry area of Lagos State because of its deep waters, human resources and proximity to other West African countries.
At the investors’ road show organised by the Badagry Ship Repair and Marine Engineering Limited, Babs Omotowa, managing director, NLNG, said the robust investment would contribute immensely to the nation’s economy, give the country the much needed foreign exchange aside its potential to create jobs.
The need for the establishment of the dockyard, Omotowa said, follows the conclusion of feasibility studies by Royal Haskoning DVH, an independent international engineering and project management consultancy company which has its headquarters in the Netherlands. The study, he said, is one of the benefits of NLNG’s $1.6 billion ship building contracts given to Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries to build six new ships for the company.
“This dry dock, when completed, holds huge potential for investors and for Nigeria; Our NLNG vessels and very large crude carriers of other companies in the oil and gas and marine industries, which are currently maintained overseas, resulting in millions of dollars in capital flight, will soon be maintained in our country with significant value-added for the Nigerian economy,” he said.
The feasibility studies for citing the dockyard, Omotowa said, were done in seven locations which included Badagry, Lekki, Ladol Island, Olokola, Onne and Bonny before the consultants picked Badagry as the suitable location for the project.
Power Firms Urged to Buy Locally Produced Meter
THE federal government has directed all the electricity distribution companies in the country to patronise indigenous meter manufacturers in line with the policies put in place by government to ensure accelerated development of the industrial sector. Olusegun Aganga, minister of industry, trade and investment, said his ministry has received series of complaints about non-patronage and the influx of meters and transformers into the country.
The minister said at a one day stakeholders’ forum on meters/transformer manufacturing in Nigeria organised by the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment in collaboration with Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, that the purpose of the meeting was to bring together stakeholders to deliberate on the challenges confronting the sub-sector and come up with ideas and workable plans that could be used to formulate appropriate strategies and policies to support the sector.
According to the minister, the misconception by Nigerians, that locally made products are of substandard even when it is obvious that imported ones are inferior, needs to be addressed using procurement regime as a tool to develop local patronage. “Let us collectively ensure that we use local patronage as anchor to improve standards of Nigerian goods and services,” he said.
Aganga added that for Nigerian industries to thrive: “It is essential to know that our local market provides a strong base, from which Nigerian products can refine their standards, build a strong base, and then subsequently proceed into the global export markets.”
The minister commended the efforts of the local manufacturers for their commitment and resilience and urged them not to relent in producing quality products as government was all out to provide extensive infrastructure to ameliorate their challenges. He also commended NERC and other stakeholders for their support and understanding in organising the meeting to initiate sustainable strategies and policies to address the challenges confronting the meter and transformer manufacturers in the country, adding that both the manufacturers and the distribution companies would collaborate with each other to strive to make meter/transformer subsector a prosperous industry in the Country.
On his part, Muideen Adebayo, secretary, Electricity Meters Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, EMMAN, said their members out of sheer patriotism and numerous challenges confronting manufacturers had undertaken undaunted risk with borrowed funds on high interest rate to established world class factories, adding that local manufacturers has production capacity of 1.2 million meters per annum with room for future expansion.
He urged government to create and make available a two percent interest rate special intervention fund in form of soft loans to the local electricity meter manufacturers in order to create more jobs for Nigerians, boost the annual revenue earnings of Nigeria and curb capital flight to their counterparts from China.
— Jan. 5, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT