Nigeria has maintained that only local oil and gas service companies and manufacturing outfits that have built their capacities and capabilities will benefit immensely from Nigeria’s recent signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
The Federal Government at the weekend unveiled criteria for disqualification of oil firms from AfCFTA agreement.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Kesiye Wabote, reported and was supported by President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Mansur Ahmed.
The duo, according to a statement, spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the commissioning of Alcon’s ultra-modern factory for electrical power distribution panels and switchgears, set up in partnership with ABB.
The facility has an annual capacity of 750 main distribution panels, 1,200 sub-main DBs to over 5000 consumer units and can engage 150 personnel.
Delivering the keynote address at the event, the executive secretary stated that investment like Alcon’s opens the span of opportunities from the national to continental levels.
According to him, the “establishment of such manufacturing outfits will enhance delivery of the target benefits under the AfCFTA agreement.
“If you take the population of Africa and the potential market, and given the general level of development of countries, the sky is the limit for any manufacturer that makes the right investment, has the right quality and partnerships.”
He commended Alcon for being the first company to obtain NCDMB’s ‘Nigerian Content Equipment Certificate (NCEC) Category A’ for electrical switchgear and panel building and announced that the board would no longer grant approvals for operators in the oil and gas industry to import the products manufactured by Alcon.
He further charged the company to continue to deliver top-notch low voltage panels as well as introduce new products with the quality that can match those that are manufactured in any part of the world.
He also promised that NCDMB would continue to educate industry stakeholders about the company’s capabilities through the NOGIC JQS platform.
Wabote also commended Alcon for its ability to nurture a formidable partnership with ABB, stating that it “attests to the fact that if local companies have the right processes and procedures in place, international OEMs will be willing to form alliances and partnerships that endure.”
In his remarks, Ahmed charged Alcon and other manufacturers to take advantage of the opportunities presented by President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent signing of the continental free trade agreement, which will bring the 55 African countries into one common market.