President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that the federal government of Nigeria will continue to promote and protect all efforts targeted at achieving industrial growth and improving the socio-economic development of Nigeria by creating enabling environment.
He also noted that government will go about this through regular review of fiscal policy measures which will safeguard local investment to the detriment of importation of products and services that are at times of very low quality.
The President made this assertion in Abuja yesterday through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal during the commissioning of new ultra-modern steel pipe manufacturing mill and inaugural rolling out ceremony of completed NNPC gas pipelines by SCC Nigeria Limited.
He challenged oil companies operating in the country to, “design, develop and produce new specification of pipes that will meet international standard for low pressure and shallow water application in the oil and gas industry.”
Noting that, “some local companies have placed order for about 100km of pipelines to SCC which will sustain the employment of Nigerians and create more opportunities for training, the President asserted that, “Nigerian workers should be happy because once the industry begins to accept made in Nigeria product and place demand on Nigerian pipe mill like the SCC mill, it would just be a matter of time for tens of thousands of job to be generated directly and indirectly from operations of the SCC and other such facilities.”
He continued, “In the face of our increasing demands for steel pipes which today stand at 1.2 million tons annually, the SCC pipe mill is expected to satisfy closed to 10 percent of the nation’s oil and gas pipe demands which is about one hundred thousand tons annually.
“This development is a great mile stone in our collective effort to promote and increase content in the oil and gas sector and to fast-track effort at transferring technology and technical capacity to Nigerian engineers and artisans as well as conserve the much-needed foreign exchange.
“I therefore commend the SCC in this regards because having started operation with only 50 expatriate staff a few years ago, today you have about 250 Nigerians employed in the same factory with only four expatriates. I particularly note your concern about the shortage of steel raw materials in Nigeria; obviously, the comatose Ajaokuta steel company cannot satisfy our need,” Buhari stated.
In an earlier remark, SCC Director, Dr. Patrick Dele Cole, disclosed the commitment of the company to partner with the federal government in order to develop local industry and boost economic, human and entrepreneurial growth and sustenance in Nigeria, since, “it is the policy of the federal government of Nigeria to increase the local content of manufactured products utilized for projects executed in Nigeria.”
Speaking with newsmen, the Managing Director of the company, Engr. Yuval Levy said the project gulped over $150million, adding that, “a lot can, however, be done to prevent pipeline vandalism by using security forces and cooperation of local communities where the pipe is passing.
“Even if you put any technological gadget, tomorrow, the people can dig in, taking out the gadgets, taking out the fibre optics. The idea is to have cooperation between the security forces and the local communities for the security of the pipelines,” he stated.