… enjoins operators to show commitment to in-country value addition
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will partner with Brentex Petroleum Services Limited to train youths and community members so they can be part of the company’s LSAW Pipe Mill manufacturing facility, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote has said.
The Executive Secretary stated this during the facility and evaluation visit he undertook to Brentex’s pipe mill site at the Free Trade Zone in Calabar. He disclosed the Board’s policy thrust of giving first consideration to operators in the oil and gas industry that show commitment by putting investment in-country to enhance job creation and value addition.
While lauding Brentex Petroleum for the progress so far made, the Executive Secretary pointed that the commitment shown by the company through its array of equipment stacked at the site during his first visit in 2017 indicated its resolve to grow in-country capacity in line with the Board’s directive that no company will import pipes into Nigeria without making an investment in the country.
Dwelling further on the opportunities, Engr. Wabote said “Granted that one cannot produce the total array of pipes required in the industry because we have different kinds of pipes with varying diameters, and no one factory can produce all of them. The Board took a policy decision that so long as you have invested, you have a right of first refusal to procure any other type of pipes that we do not produce in-country.”
He further stated that the facility is strategically located at the Calabar Free Trade Zone having a sea port where raw materials will come in from to revive the trade zone that is almost going comatose in terms of activities and will boost activities of NOGaPS in the state. He added that NCDMB is massively investing in Cross River State with the NOGaPS site at Odukpani which is a 25-hectare industrial park to incubate manufacturing activities in the oil and gas sector and beyond.
According to him, “Work is actively ongoing at the NOGaPS site, thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari who magnanimously approved the construction of the industrial park in Cross River State.” The intent, according to the Executive Secretary, is for government to create jobs and in-country value addition within the next ten to twenty-five years in a bid to diversify the economy.
With investment in pipe mills such as Yulong in Lagos and SCC in Abuja, Engr. Wabote expressed delight on the progress of work so far made by Brentex Petroleum in Calabar as available statistics has it that the company has installed 21 kilometres of board piles across the surface of the pipe mill on the construction site, including capacity to hold onto overhead cranes that will be installed.
He enjoined youths in the host communities at the Free Trade Zone to ensure they give their maximum support to Brentex as the investment brought to their community is for their future and tasked them to actively protect it. He further appealed to the Government of Cross River State to cooperate with Brentex and continue to ensure that industrialization is realized in the state by a show of commitment as the Board is poised to work with the company so long as they are ready to ensure that the LSAW pipe mill is completed and commissioned on time.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Brentex Petroleum Services Limited, Mr. Chidi Nzerem expressed delight at the visit paid its facility by the Board and the support it has received so far. He indicated that the project will cost the company over N5Billion as they had finalized arrangement for On-the-job training with an Original Equipment Manufacturer to train its employees for two years, for them to take over once the company starts production.
He also commended the host communities of Ikot Ansa in Calabar for their peaceful and receptive co-existence with the company as they are committed to their corporate social responsibility with them. Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary to the Cross River State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Patrick Omotete who spoke through his Director of Administration, Mr. Thomas Atem pledged the state government’s continuous partnership and support to investors in the area in line with the state’s industrialization policy with a bid to generate revenue and create employment opportunities.
In a goodwill message at the occasion, the Executive Vice Chairman of the company, Mr. Sani Abubakar commended the Executive Secretary for his support so far to the project and pledged his company’s commitment to the ideals of Local Content while anticipating the Board’s support in other areas of its operations and that of the various stakeholders.
Speaking on behalf of Youth Leaders from Host Communities, a representative and Youths President of the Host Communities, Engr. Henry Effiom expressed gratitude to the management of the company for choosing their community to site the LSAW pipe mill project and commended them for their initiative in keeping in touch with the host communities. He maintained that the leadership of the host communities is positive about progress and pledged to maintain a conducive working environment so that the expected goal of the project will be achieved.