Friday, December 6,2019
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, has said that Nigeria may end the importation of some equipment and skills needed in the oil and gas industry by May next year, when Lee Engineering & Construction Company’s new factory comes on stream.
The Minister, who visited the factory in Warri, Delta State, on a fact-finding tour, said most of the equipment would then be locally manufactured at the factory, thereby saving Nigeria millions of dollars in foreign exchange.
According to him, the President had promised to get a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty over the next ten years, and that one of the ways this could be achieved was by encouraging industrialists to create new industries, and to expand the ones they have to enable them employ more people.
Adebayo said by the time the factory is completed next year, the nature of its specialisation would create a situation where the country won’t have to import any more, and that even people abroad can come and buy from here.He said: “The equipment that are made here are to facilitate the production of crude oil and gas, a lot of the equipment being made here at present are being imported from abroad. By the time this factory is completed a lot of the things that we import will not need to be imported anymore, they will be locally manufactured here at Lee Engineering.
“I have seen some of their equipment; and they’re still expecting more. As you’re aware, the factory is not completed, I just came to see how far they have gone, and to see what to anticipate. Like I said, we’re interested in Nigerians being employed and from what I can see right now, even though the equipment are not all here yet, they’ve already sent young Nigerians abroad for training, and they still intend to send more, so this is something we’re very happy about,” the minister said.
The Chief Executive Officer, Lee Engineering, Chief Leemon Ikpea, who conducted Adebayo round the factory, disclosed that by May next year President Muhammadu Buhari would be in Warri to inaugurate the factory.He said when completed, equipment like high pressure vessels, heat exchangers, and some of the skills in the oil and gas industry would no longer be imported.
Ikpea said: “We are about 85 per cent in completion; one or two items are still remaining, we just got. We have just gone for the factory acceptance text in Europe, and by