24 October 2013, Abuja – In furtherance of its overall local content drive, global infrastructure giants General Electric, GE, has attracted 3 Italian based investor-companies to Nigeria to explore partnership opportunities with indigenous Nigerian engineering companies. The companies include Allimep, Duemme and Sime.
Their investment in Nigeria will help boost the capacity of indigenous engineering companies that will support GE’s operations in Nigeria. The move is in line with the Federal Government’s local content law which mandates that a substantial part of the operations of foreign companies in Nigeria must be localized.
To this end, GE has in the last one year held supplier fairs within and outside the country in sear of indigenous Nigerian companies and foreign ones that they can partner with to boost their operational capacity in supporting GE’s growing operations in Nigeria like the Calabar plant, which will be GE’s biggest investment in sub Saharan Africa. The facility will manufacture and assemble machinery for Nigeria’s Power and the Oil & Gas sectors.
Speaking at a dinner organised in honour of the visiting foreign companies, GE’s Supply Chain leader for Africa Phil Griffith said with this visit, the string of supplier fairs are beginning to pay off.
According to Mr Griffith GE remains resolutely committed to working with local companies and enhancing their capabilities to support GE’s operations in Nigeria.
Apart from being in line with Nigeria’s local content policy Mr Griffith said GE believes that building local capabilities in all the places where GE does business was the right thing to do.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Mr Ernest Nwakpa commended GE’s localisation initiative, which he said was flagged off by the Country-to-Company agreement which GE signed with the Federal Government to partner with other stakeholders in bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure gaps in critical sectors like Oil & Gas, Power, Transportation, Healthcare and Aviation. Nwakpa said other multinational companies had a lot to learn from GE’s holistic approach to local content.
He said the visit of the Italian companies and GE’s increased investments in Nigeria was ample evidence that Nigeria was a fertile ground for foreign direct investment.
Also speaking on behalf of the Italian companies, the Chief Executive Officer of Sime Engineering Mr Matteo Bertolini said they were pleasantly surprised at the technical depth of the Nigerian companies they would be partnering with in supporting GE’s facilities in the country.
He said Sime was convinced about the potentials of the partnership and would commit resources to ensure that it has deep rooted tentacles in Nigeria.
Seun Faluyi, the Managing Director of Global Ocean Engineers Limited, a Nigerian company and one of GE’s suppliers applauded the initiative of facilitating partnerships between Nigerian companies and their foreign counterparts in building adequate capacity.
He said it was very inspiring to see a foreign multinational like GE invest tremendous resources to improve the capacity of local companies that will ultimately support GE operations in Nigeria.
*GE press statement