The Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited (EPCL) in Rivers has saved N202.276 billion (or $1.3 billion) in foreign exchange for Nigeria through import substitution. A statement signed by Mr Chukwuma Nwokoh, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), stated that the amount began to accrue in 2006 when the company was privatised.
The statement also stated that the company remitted more than N12 billion to government coffers as taxes. It said that the taxes included Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs Duty, Withholding Tax and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE). It added that between 2006 and 2011, the company paid N23 billion as dividends to its shareholders, comprising the federal and Rivers governments, as well as NNPC.
According to the statement, EPCL has employed 650 Nigerians, since the Indorama Group took over the petrochemicals plant. It explained that 12 of those persons employed by the company were currently at the managerial level, while 600 others had been employed by contractors working for the company.
The statement said that it was producing at full capacity with a daily production of 350 tonnes of polymer resins. It said that the development had enabled it to meet the supply of most of the raw materials needed by Nigerian manufacturers and the markets in 20 countries.
“The company plans to raise N280.075 billion (or $1.8 billion) to diversify into fertiliser and methanol production. “It produces polyethylene and polypropylene (polymer resins) used for the manufacturing of plastics and plastic-based products.
As part of its social responsibility to its six host communities, EPCL has signed and implemented two MoUs, on employment and development projects for host communities. It is also providing electricity to the communities and has already renovated the Eleme General Hospital, as well as awarded scholarships to 30 undergraduate students in the area.”
The statement explained that the plant currently accounted for 10 per cent of Nigeria’s non-oil exports. It added that feat had earned it the Nigerian Export Promotions Council’s (NEPC’s) Presidential Award for Exports in 2010.