SME Participation: Growth to Industrial Park Scheme – Nwapa


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Weeks after the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) entered into partnership with the Bank of Industry, (BOI); Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, (SMEDAN); Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, (NIPC); Galaxy Backbone and other participatory agencies to deepen Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry and extend its implementation to other critical sectors of the economy, the Government of Bayelsa State played host to the 20th International Conference on SMEs (ICSME) in Yenagoa on May 2, 2014.

The conference attracted policy makers, business leaders and entrepreneurs. Before the plenary, the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson had breakfast meeting with the resources persons at the Governor’s Lodge and subsequently inspected the SME exhibitions.

Speaking at the plenary on the topic, “Opportunities for SMEs in the Global Oil and Gas Sector – the Nigerian Experience”, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Ernest Nwapa represented by the Zonal Coordinator, Akwa Ibom/Cross River, Mr. Uduak Obot enumerated the key thrust of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act particularly job creation, training, domiciliation of capacity, technology transfer, in-country manufacture of oil and gas equipment and activities.

The Executive Secretary highlighted the benefits of local content implementation which includes in-country value addition, skills acquisition and investments in the oil and gas value chain, underscoring the strategy of NCDMB to facilitate the establishment of industrial parks in the oil producing states to foster joint venture partnerships between local SMEs and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

He also emphasized the need to stimulate and encourage the culture of manufacturing oil and gas equipment locally to ensure the use of made-in-Nigeria goods in the oil industry. Engr. Nwapa noted the criticality of involving local SMEs in the value chain as the recipe for job creation, a sure way  to reduce the scourge of acute unemployment in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Content Chieftain intimated participants of the opportunities the proposed Industrial Park Scheme will afford, urging the SMEs to key into the scheme. He noted that the Industrial Park Scheme will attract foreign direct investment to oil producing states, develop and integrate the local supply chain to support oil and gas operation and foster mentoring of SMEs by international OEMs for mutual benefits.

Panelists at the plenary were Mr. Wale Fasanya of the PTDF; Engr. Fah Fubara, MD, Bayelsa Oil Company; Mr. Ken Etete, CEO, Century Energy Group and Mr. Tamunoye Alazigha, Deputy Director, Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation, (BDIC). The session was moderated by, Mr. Alasdair Ross, a renowned entrepreneur.  The session ended on a happy note with participants upbeat about the prospects and benefits of the Industrial Park Scheme.



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