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Agip Expresses Commitment To Nigerian Content

AGIP; Nigerian Content
Posted: Sep 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Charles Okonji.

LAGOS – The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has expressed commitment to the development and promotion of the Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry to improve the nation’s economy.

The Managing Director of NAOC, Mr. Massimo Insulla, while speaking at a two-day Business Leadership Workshop as part of its 2016 content activities in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said that the company would continue to increase the Nigerian content in its operations to sustain its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.

NAOC, a subsidiary of Eni, an Italian oil giant, he said, brought entrepreneurs of small and medium businesses operating under its various capacity development initiatives to the workshop to inspire and sensitise them on ways of sustaining their businesses.

The workshop was attended by the representatives of the Nigeria Content Development Management Board (NCDMB), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Yenagoa and Port Harcourt chapters of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, as well as Wider Perspective, among others, attended the event.

Eni at the event signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zenith Bank PLC to provide credit facilities to companies doing business with it as part of Vendors Finance Scheme it launched in 2014.

Insulla, who was represented by NAOC’s Manager, Nigerian Content Coordination District, Mr. Albert Ijigwe, said Eni would continue to respect all Nigerian laws and guidelines relating to process for award of contracts.

He stated that the company had so far trained 360 persons under its Vendors Development Programme and 250 persons under its Vendors Awareness and Sensitisation Engagement adding that 120 persons participated as vendors in its vendors exhibition, gap closure and opportunities engagement.

According to him, the company’s capacity development initiatives for entrepreneurs had been diversified to include business development workshop, succession planning workshop and indigenous technology forum.

Insulla said: “The main reason for this diversification is to entrench small and medium scale businesses for community content and development.”

While explaining that the business leadership workshop was designed as an inspirational programme for promotion of business excellence, he pointed out that some business role models had been selected to tell vendors their success stories, challenges, and critical factors to business survival and sustainability in the prevailing Nigerian economic environment.

Insulla recalled that the company pioneered Independent Power Project (IPP) in the country with the construction of a power plant in Okpai, adding that the plant could deliver 480 megawatts of power into the national grid to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

He noted that Eni maintained leadership in the areas of access to energy, water, health, education, social infrastructures, employment, human capacity building, skill acquisition, micro credit and access to food through agricultural programme.

NAOC boss said: “We are proud to note that our footprints are quite visible in all our host communities in the states where we operate including Bayelsa.

“We are committed to sustaining our reputation as a responsible corporate citizen and continue to increase the Nigerian content in our operations in 10 countries.”

The General Manager, Zonal Coordinator of NCDMB, Mr. Gina Gina, who represented the board’s Acting Executive Secretary, said the board would continue to enforce utilization of made-in-Nigeria goods and available facilities.

Gina described SMEs as the critical segment of the Nigeria business community saying they accounted for 90 per cent of business enterprises in the country.

He said that the implementation of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Park (NOGaPS) was on course to reduce startup cost and enhance competitiveness of SMEs desiring to set up manufacturing plants with parks.

According to him, through the scheme, there would be drastic reduction in the importation of goods such as pumps, fittings, valves, flanges, subsea production systems, switch gears, bolts and nuts.

Gina stated that already the guard had acquired three sites in Imo, Cross River and Bayelsa states and was in the process of securing more sites in Akwa Ibom and Delta states for the scheme.

However, the President, Yenagoa Chambers of Commerce and owner of Achievers Farms in Yenagoa, Chief Lionel Jonathan, said that only diversification into serious agricultural development would take Nigeria out of the woods.

Jonathan said agriculture remained the country’s comparative and competitive advantage.

Also, NNPC’s Deputy Manager, Community Relations, Clementina Arubi, harped on the development of the agricultural sector as the best alternative to oil and gas.

Aruubi appealed to the participants to seize the opportunity of the workshop to develop the agro-based sub sector lamenting that despite all the potential, Nigeria can only produce 40 per cent of her sugar needs.

She said that despite having fertile soil to produce cassava, the country still imports starch.

The Deputy Managing Director, Wider Perspective, Edughon Hanson, in her remarks, said the Niger Delta region is awash with human and natural resources.

She urged the participants to learn skills that would make them become global players and grow their business beyond them.