From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja
General Electric (GE), an American multinational, has signed a contract for the execution of a multi-purpose manufacturing and assembly facility in Calabar, Cross River State.
The agreement to build an assembly plant is expected to make Calabar the hub of equipment manufacturing for power, oil and gas industry in the country.
The ceremony was witnessed by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and other stakeholders relevant in the oil and gas industry in Abuja.
The Minister noted that signing of the MoU is part of the fulfillment of the commitment by GE’s global Chairman, Mr. Jeff Immelt, in January 2013, to invest $1 billion in Nigeria over a five-year period, adding that government was very excited with the level of commitment by the firm.
According to her, the event is significant because it is a promise kept, with the project expected to translate into job creation, technology transfer, skills transfer, transfer of capabilities that were never there before as well as SMEs growth.
In January 2013, GE’s global Chairman, Immelt, made commitment to invest $1 billion in Nigeria over a five-year period. Out of this amount $250 million was earmarked for capital expenditure that will make Nigeria a regional hub for manufacturing, service and innovation with an improved ability to support a broader range of product line in oil and gas exploration, production as well as the power sector. The company also pledged to spend additional $800 million in local sourcing of goods, services, labour, staff welfare and training.
“Today’s event is significant in many ways. One, it is a promise kept and I must commend GE for that. It is also another valid proof that this government is truly attracting credible foreign direct investment by creating the enabling environment for genuine investors.
In terms of local content, this validates our long-held view that local content and localisation of oil and gas industry is achievable within the right regulatory frameworks. I must also point out that the real work has just begun. I enjoin the NDCMB to ensure that after the completion of the project, the laws of the land are followed to the letter as regards local content,” she said.
The Vice Chairman of GE, Mr. John Rice, disclosed that Julius Berger emerged winner in a competitive bid, adding that the investment is expected to create 2,300 jobs, 300 of which will be direct GE staffers and the remaining 2,000 indirect jobs created through GE suppliers that will support its expanded operations. He added that the contracts for the reconstruction and upgrade of the Government Technical College, Ikot Iffanga, have also been awarded by GE.
Source : SunOnline