GE’s $1bn investment validates Nigerian Content pursuit – Alison-Madueke

Diezani-Alison-MaduekeOscarline Onwuemenyi

05 December 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has stressed that the planned $1 billion investment by the multinational energy giant, General Electric, into the Nigerian oil and gas industry is proof that government’s efforts to increase localisation in the oil and gas industry is yielding fruits.

Alison-Madueke stated this in Abuja during the announcement of Contractor for General Electric’s Multi Modal Manufacturing and Service facility to be located in Calabar, Cross River State.

The Minister noted that in January 2013, GE Global Chairman Mr. Jeff Immelt made a commitment that GE would invest $1 billion in Nigeria over a 5-year period.

“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 lines in Oil and Gas exploration and production as well as the Power sector.

“The company also pledged to spend an additional $800 million in local sourcing of goods/ services, labour, staff welfare and training.”

According to her, the main pivot of this investment was the plan to build a multi-modal manufacturing and Assembly facility in Calabar, Cross River State, which will service the Oil and Gas and the Power sectors.

“These all seemed too good to be true but today has proved many skeptics wrong,” Allison-Madueke said.

She added that, “Today’s event is significant in many ways. It is a promise kept – for which we commend GE. It is also another valid proof that this Government is truly attracting credible foreign direct investment by creating the enabling environment for genuine investors.”

Furthermore, she said the investment by GE “validates our long held view that local content and localisation of the oil and gas industry is achievable once the regulatory framework is in place.

“I am told that when completed, this facility will create at least 2,300 direct and indirect jobs. Again foreign direct investment is not an end in itself. Investment of this nature must translate into job creation, technology and kill transfer as well as SME growth.”

Alison-Madueke pointed out that in choosing Julius Berger, a company with proven credentials in delivering similar projects, GE has demonstrated seriousness to see this project executed speedily and at the highest quality.

“You have chosen a Nigerian company that will in turn create jobs for Nigerians in Cross River state and beyond. From what I have been told, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc will through this project create at least 1,200 additional jobs in Calabar and its environs. I need not mention the knock on effect this investment will have on the economy of Cross River state – Hospitality, Real estate, etc.”

She further explained that the project would not have been possible without the tireless work of the Nigerian Content Development Management Board (NCDMB).

“We must commend Dr. Ernest Nwapa and his team for ensuring that local content in the Oil and gas industry is not a mere rhetoric

However, the real work has only just started.

She said, “While I have no doubt that GE will keep its word, I enjoin NCDMB to closely ensure that after completion of this project, the laws of the land are followed as it regards to local content.”

The Minister added that, “What GE has done is commendable and I want to say thank you once again for keeping their word. The real milestone would be when Mr. President will be invited to commission this project.

“On our part as Government, while wielding the big stick of ensuring compliance with local content laws, we shall continue to create the enabling environment that allows companies like GE to do so.”

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