24 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, TEPNG, and the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, PHCCIMA, have affirmed their commitment to capacity building and development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises, SMEs, to stimulate the Rivers State economy.
They made the affirmation during a visit of PHCCIMA delegation, led by its President, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji, to the Deputy Managing Director of Total, Mr.
Le Cocq said during the visit that the move was necessary as SMEs are the economic growth drivers, with high potentials to harness local raw materials for industrial production, generate wealth and engage skill and unskilled population.
He explained that TEPNG’s new management policy is more focused on less cash handouts and more of capacity building to identify with new business strategies and to empower the people and stimulate the local economy. He said building capacity of enterprises will help Nigerians reach their full potentials.
“TEPNG is committed to building capacities that will open frontiers of economic opportunities in the oil and gas sector and harness openings in other sectors especially in agriculture and its value chain,” he said.
He enumerated some of the initiatives of Total in promoting Nigerian Content Development and corporate social responsibilities to include the pioneering of an independent power plant that would be commercialised soon to add to the national grid and help invigorate the economy.
Earlier, the president of PHCCIMA, Dr. Membere-Otaji, assured that the Chamber will work closely with Total to achieve capacity development.
According to him, the shortfall in oil prices dealt a great blow to the country because of her over-dependence on crude oil.
Otaji explained the need to tap from the huge potentials in exportation and build capacities that would increase Nigeria’s competitiveness in line with global standards.
He corroborated Mr. Le Cocq belief that SMEs in Nigeria represented a critical segment of the nation’s business community which accounts for over 80 percent of businesses, hence the need to develop the sector and help build capacities in other to open channels of opportunities and create strings of employment.