Three Italian companies, Allimep, Duemme and Sime, have entered Nigeria and are targeting the country’s engineering industry with the ultimate aim of providing support to the private sector-driven power sector as well as the oil and gas industry, among others.
Our correspondent learnt on Thursday that General Electric, a global infrastructure manufacturer, attracted the three investor-companies to Nigeria to explore partnership opportunities with indigenous engineering companies.
GE’s Supply Chain leader for Africa, Mr. Phil Griffith, said the companies’ investments in Nigeria would help to boost the capacity of indigenous engineering companies that would support GE’s operations in the country.
GE recently sealed a $1bn investment deal for the establishment of a new manufacturing and assembly facility in Calabar.
Griffith said the Italian companies’ incursion into Nigeria was in consonance with the Federal Government’s local content law, which mandates that a substantial part of the operations of foreign companies in the country must be localised.
According to him, GE believes in building local capabilities in all the places where it has operations.
Griffith also said GE had in the last one year held supplier fairs within and outside the country in search of Nigerian and foreign companies that could partner with it to boost their operational capacity in supporting GE’s growing operations in Nigeria like the Calabar plant, which will be the company’s biggest investment in sub-Sahara Africa.
The facility will manufacture and assemble machinery for the country’s power and oil and gas industries.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Local Content Monitoring Board, Mr. Ernest Nwakpa, who was at a dinner organised in honour of the new investors, commended GE’s localisation initiative, which he said was commenced by the Country-to-Company agreement the company signed with the Federal Government to partner with other stakeholders in bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure gap in critical sectors like oil and gas, power, transportation, health care and aviation.
Nwakpa said the visit of the Italian companies and GE’s increased investments in the country were forms of evidence that Nigeria was a fertile ground for foreign direct investment.
Information from Punch was used in this report.