Asset Ownership Key to Survival of Nigerian Content — Nwapa

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Ernest Nwapa

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Ernest Nwapa, executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board says that the key to the survival of Nigerian Content is asset ownership by indigenous companies

ACQUISITION of key oil and gas assets and establishment of critical facilities by local and foreign investors will help guarantee the continued implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, Ernest Nwapa, executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, has said. Nwapa stated this after he commissioned the facilities of Thompson and Grace Investments Limited, T&GIL, an indigenous service company which set up a fabrication yard, an Institute of Technology and a machine shop that is first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa. He assured Nigerian entrepreneurs and their foreign partners that the Nigerian Content policy was backed by law, adding that Nigerian investors and their partners had demonstrated their resolve for the policy to continue by building immense capacity over the past five years, acquiring hi-tech industry equipment and creating employment opportunities for thousands of young Nigerians in their assets and facilities.

“Policy statements issued by the in-coming government had indicated that it will continue to support indigenous participation and Nigerian Content. It is very important that the international community gets that message clearly and that Nigerians who are investing continue to do so believing that government is a continuum and will always support them by continuing with good policies they have initiated,” Nwapa said. He also commended entrepreneurs who take risk based on the support of government’s policies, pledging commitment to ensure that any investment made within Nigeria by Nigerians and foreigners would be utilised and protected. “The end game is not just buying these equipment but being able to use them effectively to deploy solutions to the industry and beyond,” he added.

Nwapa also expressed delight that the equipment acquired by Thompson and Grace Investments Limited supported a key strategy of the Nigerian Content implementation, which is local manufacture of equipment components that would be used by the industry just as he described the company’s training facility as world class.

Similarly, Isaac Thompson Amos, managing director of T&GIL, appealed to the incoming administration to create an enabling environment that would not only boost the operation of businesses but also enable them realise their aspirations and projects.

He noted that the company was delving into manufacturing of components used by diverse industries because of the opportunities created by the Local Content policy and had grown from an eight-man company at inception to a firm with more than 200 employees at present.

According to him, “We appreciate the efforts of the Federal Government for not only providing the Local Content law, which has become a bedrock but also empowering the NCDMB. This has created space for the participation of locals and has given us the opportunity to think of what we can do.”

Throwing further light on the newly commissioned assets, the managing director explained that the company acquired the WFL M120 machine, which can produce components with unique geometry such as wellheads, Christmas Trees, landing gear for aircrafts, crankshafts for ships, propellers for helicopters and various components required in the oil and gas industry.

Underscoring the contribution of the company’s foreign partners to the giant strides it had recorded, Amos noted that one of such partnership inspired the setting up of an Institute of Technology which is affiliated with 10 foreign universities and institutes and is intended to deepen the knowledge base of the company’s welders and confer them with certification in fabrication and welding technology.

— May 11, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT

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