The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has pledged to sustain and enhance existing support for indigenous oil and gas companies in line with the spirit and letters of the Nigerian Content legislation which ultimately seeks to enthrone efficient and profitable indigenous capacity utilization across all tiers of the industry.
Speaking at the end of a tour of an ultra-modern workshop and fabrication yard of a Warri-based indigenous firm, Lee Engineering and Construction Company Limited (LECCL), Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the NNPC would continue to encourage companies like LECCL that have shown utmost faith in the oil and gas industry through massive investments in capacity building and machinery.
Describing the Chairman of the company, Dr. Leemon Ikpea, as visionary, the NNPC GMD said it was encouraging to see the level of equipment and investment in Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC).
He noted the highly skilled indigenous man power on offer in the fabrication yard and stressed that the company had produced lots of equipment that could have been done outside the country thereby saving the nation lots of money in foreign exchange.
“The Nigerians I have seen all over the workshop can definitely do what any expatriate can do. They operate computer-controlled machines, laser machines, automated rolling machines, these are very complex machines to operate”, he said.
Dr. Baru said the only thing leaders in the oil and gas industry like him could do is to see how best to support companies like LECCL to ensure that the machines which require continuous operation were kept running.
“My visit here, essentially is to reinforce my commitment to local content because we are champions of local content and I believe in local content. And seeing that somebody who is not in NNPC does not only believe in local content, but also practices it, the only thing we can do is to see how best to support him”, the NNPC GMD said.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. Ikpea, commended Baru for accepting to visit the company despite his busy schedule. He informed that the company commenced operation about 28 years ago from a 40-feet container office and had through the year metamorphosed into a leading EPC company with outreach in Milan, Italy.
The LECCL Chairman listed some of the big ticket engineering projects completed by the indigenous company using wholly indigenous manpower to include the rehabilitation of the NNPC/PPMC Jetty in Okrika and the recent revamp of the NPDC Odidi Gas plant among others.