This development, according to analysts in the human capital industry, will boost the Federal Government job creation programme and take many youths off the street.
Griffith, who spoke in Lagos, said GE planned a $1 billion investment over the next five years in Nigeria, adding that this investment is aimed at strengthening GE’s local presence with the new service and manufacturing facility in Calabar, as well as an additional investment in its service workshop at Port Harcourt and Onne.
According to him, GE’s investment plans include a $250 million capital expenditure that would make Nigeria a regional hub for manufacturing, service, and innovation with an ability to support a broader range of product lines in power generation as well as oil and gas exploration and production.
This investment, he said, will create 2300 jobs out of which 300 will be GE direct hires while the remaining 2000 will be created through GE suppliers that will support its expanded operations.
The company will also spend an additional $800 million over the next five years in local sourcing of goods and services, labour, staff welfare and training.
As part of this goal and in alignment with the local content policy of the Federal Government, as well as to give back to its host community, GE, he said, plans to build a vocational training centre on its manufacturing site.
“The company will provide one-year to four – year training programs locally and internationally for repair engineers, welders, fabricators, machinists and special processing,” he said.
GE is collaborating with Cross Rivers State educational and community leaders to implement curriculum, instructor development and equipment enhancements that will support the development of top notch vocational school graduates, Griffith added.
According to him, Nigerians will make up 90 percent of the staff and management of the planned manufacturing facility while GE’s local suppliers base is expected to increase from 10 to 100 local suppliers.
“This investment will significantly increase the local content of our operations in Nigeria by increasing local ownership of equipment, in-country project execution expertise and use of local legal, financial advisory and engineering services.
When this project is completed, our annual spending on these basic services that will be locally sourced is expected to increase to over $60 million,” Griffith added.
GE has built a very large platform that covers all sectors of GE businesses across the globe – oil and gas, power and water, energy management, aviation, healthcare, transportation, GE capital and home and business solutions.
GE businesses in Nigeria represent the biggest GE platform on the continent of Africa where about one third of the entire GE Africa business comes out of Nigeria.
In the past two years, the company has renewed its focus in Nigeria with businesses spanning across major infrastructure sectors. GE footprint in Nigeria consists of about 400 employees with offices in Lagos and Abuja;
and currently serves over 100 public and private sector customers and partners in Nigeria.
Information from Business Day was used in this report.