The President and CEO of General Electric Nigeria, Lazarus Angbazo, has identified localisation and skills development in the power sector as the key elements to success of the sector.
He made this remark at the Nigeria Summit held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island. He said, “Nigeria is positioned to be Africa’s bread basket and the biggest economy by the year 2020.
There has been a lot of focus and investment by the Federal Government in developing the power sector in Nigeria and we, as the private sector should ask ourselves, what role can we play? How can we contribute to government’s vision for an improved power sector?”
Angbazo said for its part, “GE is playing a significant role in the on-going power sector reforms because Nigeria is a very important market for us, that is why at GE we are committed to filling the huge supply gap in the power sector”
“GE’s strategy for Nigeria is hinged on three pillars; first to build infrastructure solutions that are relevant to the local market, localize GE’s capability in terms of personnel, suppliers and expertise and build financing capabilities which we plan to do through GE Capital which has the ability to work with the local banks to achieve our objectives” GE has plans to further localize its operations in Nigeria.
“Already we have signed an agreement with the Federal Government to invest $1 billion in building a manufacturing assembly plant in Calabar. We also intend to employ 2300 Nigerians to power GE’s operations and to this end, we are instituting training programmes to build capability to deliver on our goals”
“This investment will make Nigeria a regional hub for manufacturing, service, and innovation with an improved ability to support a broader range of product lines in power generation as well as oil & gas exploration and production,” he said. He said GE hosted a GE Engineering Fair for local Nigerian suppliers who have the capability to partner with GE in delivering on this five year project.
“GE plans to provide training (1-year – 4-year programs) locally and internationally for repair engineers, welders, fabricators, machinists, special processing (coating) etc. We plan to build a training facility on our manufacturing site to ensure on-going employee development” he explained.
Adding that GE’s planned investment will significantly increase the local content of its operations in Nigeria “The planned assembly, manufacturing and service facility will focus on machining, fabrication, training and technology transfer. Nigerians will make up 90% of the staff and management of our planned manufacturing facility,” he said.
Angbazo commended the efforts of the Federal Government stating that, “this administration has invested a lot in the oil and gas and power sector and this is a bold step in the right direction.
“With a government that is open to innovation in these key sectors and with the support of private sector partners like GE, we are optimistic that Nigeria’s Vision 20/2020 can be a feasible reality,” he concluded.