By Prince Okafor
THE Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, has engaged local contractors to paint, supply cables and carpentry works required to build $1.6 billion ships. The six vessels are being constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries, SHI, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, HHI, in South Korea.
In an interview with newsmen in Lagos, the General Manager, External Relations, NLNG, Kudo Eresia-Eke, said: “We had a deal to build six new ships with HHI and SAMSUNG of about $1.6 billion. We then insisted that as part of local content drive, they should make sure that all the paints, arnolds, cables and carpentry works required to build the ships will have to be supplied by Nigeria companies.
“Having had them commit to that, we then came to Nigeria and look out for companies that can meet up or almost meet up to those standard and then help them to attain that standard that can be accepted for exports. All that have been done and we helped them to raise foreign exchange from such projects.”
Commenting on its N60 billion support to government on the Bonny Island road network, Eresia-Eke noted that, “We believe that Bonny is in the conscience of Nigeria. Bonny has played a key role in the development of our country for decades. More recently, with respect to petroleum, the gateway to export crude oil is located in Bonny.
Shell has facility in Bonny, ExxonMobil, Nigeria LNG also in Bonny and most of the proceeds from these operations go to the coffers of the federal government by way taxes, dividends and depending on the joint venture that is in operation, the lion share goes to federal government.
“This community has been cut off from time immemorial from the mainland so they travel mainly by seas with all the hazards. We share our voyage with the community people to reduce hazards and hardship they faced. The second reason is that the government has been tantalizing the entire Niger Delta with this project because everyone knows that it is a great project but it has been sitting there for over 25 years.
“We all know what good the project can bring in terms of employment, mobility of labour and capital. It is right in the heart of the Niger Delta but because of funding and other reason, it has not been executed so we thought we should help the government to make that dream comes to reality.’’