Local manufacturing of components used for operations in the oil and gas sector is the best strategy to significantly reduce capital flight in the industry, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDBM), Engr. Simbi Wabote has said.
He stated this on Monday in the keynote address he delivered at the commissioning of Lolite Energy Limited’s fasteners manufacturing and fabrication plant in Enugu. He highlighted that the oil and gas sector spend an average of US$350 million annually in the procurement of components like bolts, nut, flanges and gaskets among others.
He explained that the manufacturing sector is the backbone of industrialisation in fast developing countries and developing the sector was very important in providing jobs and lifting people out of poverty.
He advised stakeholders of the oil and gas sector to focus on the productive sector rather than the service sector. He quoted data from Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) which indicated that the services sector contributed 61 percent to real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth while productive sectors such as manufacturing, construction and agro-processing only accounted for 15 percent of overall growth between year 2000 to 2015.
He clarified that the growth in the services sector and rising unemployment rate suggested that value addition in the service sector is low in terms of jobs creation and inclusive growth for the wider populace when compared to the productive sector.
The Executive Secretary expressed delight in the decision of Lolite limited to start from the basics by focussing on the manufacturing of industrial fasteners and charged the company to grow the capacity of the facility from 1.2 tons to 3 tons as well as expand into the manufacturing of gaskets.
He called on investors interested in manufacturing to key into the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGaPS) being promoted by the Board to create regional low-cost manufacturing hubs for production of equipment, components, spare parts and other items that will be utilized in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.
Also speaking, the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi commended Lolite Energy for its tenacity and creating employment for indigenes of the state.
He said Enugu State has moved from the twenty seventh position it occupied in 2014 to the second state in the promotion of ease of doing business according to the World Bank’s ranking in 2018. He pledged his government’s commitment to continue to create a conductive environment so as to attract more investments into the state.
The Director, Lolite Energy Limited, Engr. Kenechukwu Agbo applauded the NCDMB for supporting indigenous participation. He harped on the need for Nigerians to see opportunities created NOGICD Act and properly harness it.
In his words, ”I must say the NOGICD Act is a goldmine. As an engineer, I studied the Act, saw opportunities and leveraged on it. That is why we are here today to commission this facility.”