By Clara Nwachukwu
Chrome Group, a fast growing indigenous conglomerate has reiterated the need for more jobs to be given Nigerian companies to boost capacity development and technology transfer in the nation’s petroleum industry. The Group said this is the only way to boost Federal Government’s objective in Nigerian Content development, even as its subsidiary, Kaztec Engineering Limited, recently won an $84.5million rehabilitation contract for Shell’s Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP, as part of the pipeline integrity fortification.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend, the Executive Chairman, Chrome Group, Sir Emeka Offor, argued that content development cannot be achieved by professional certification alone, but by job execution and hands on experience.
According to him, “If you have the professional qualification and no jobs, how are you going to gain the experience and transfer technology? But where we (Chrome Group) are now, we have the opportunity and the facility to boost content development and technology transfer.
He noted that most of the fabrication jobs in the industry are still ceded offshore to fabrication yards in China, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and a host of others leading to capital flight, even while Nigerians have continued to demonstrate the capacity to do these jobs.
He said: “Most of the jobs are done by heavy fabrication countries like China, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and if that continues to happen, there will continue to be foreign exchange flight every day, and which will impact negatively on the value of our Naira.”
He however, chided indigenous companies to prove their capacity, saying that getting jobs from the international oil companies, IOCs, is not about playing politics. He said: “To get an IOC job, they must audit your company and certify that you have both the manpower and the facility to compete. You have to drag the bull by the horns to be able to compete with other IOCs like Saipem and the rest.
And if we are not able to deliver it is also a problem because we won’t get more jobs; but we are getting the jobs because we deliver as promised. The IOCs give you a target, and you must deliver and if you’re not able to, then you’re out. So getting jobs are tied to performance, not politics, and they don’t accept excuses because the jobs are tied to their production and output.”
Accordingly, he said Kaztec, an indigenous engineering, procurement, installation and construction, EPIC company, has done a number of works for Addax in its fabrication yard at the Snake Island, reputed as the biggest in the country. He added that Shell and other IOCs have also come on board based on the company’s track record to deliver on schedule.
Expatiating on the Shell pipeline job, Kaztec Project Director, Mr. Tochukwu Odukwe, said, “The Trans Niger Pipeline is a 12.5km project, worth about $84.5m of 30 inch pipeline located in Ogoni, Rivers State. The project is in phases; but so far, we have done the engineering, we have mobilised to site and about to proceed to procurement and construction.”