Mutiu-SunmonuThe Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has reminded participants at the 3rd edition of its annual Nigerian Content Day in Port Harcourt that the local content drive in the oil and gas industry was not synonymous with “reduced quality of manufactured items” in the sector.

In a welcome address at the event, the Country Chair and Managing Director of SPDC, Mutiu Sunmonu, told about 100 participating companies at the 2103 Nigerian Content Exhibition that the purpose of the Nigerian Content Act was to domesticate the production of goods and services that could compete favourably with those produced anywhere in the world in terms of quality standard and prices.

He said, “Nigerian companies need to continue to invest in the development of world class processes and structures to match those available anywhere in the world.”

He added that the key objective of the annual event is to establish a viable and effective platform for collaboration between local vendors/suppliers/contractors and Shell staff members.

He said the essence of the collaboration was to help create awareness of locally produced oil and gas materials, equipment, goods and services obtainable in Nigeria.

Sunmonu, who was represented by the General Manager, Sustainable Development and Community Relation (SPDC), Nedo Osayande, noted that it was also a response to the argument of some industry analysts that lack of awareness of the available locally manufactured goods and services was a contributory factor to the low utilisation of Nigerian goods and services in the industry.

The 2013 Nigerian Content Exhibition focuses on in-country manufacturing of materials, spare parts, and components, fabrication and construction, raw materials extraction, assembly and maintenance, as well as safety and environment, and information and communications technology.

Speaking to journalists on the side, the General Manager, Nigeria Content Development, SPDC, Mr. Igo Weli, expressed satisfaction that there had been remarkable achievement by the Local Content Exhibition since its commencement in 2009.

He said the number of participating companies had doubled from about 50 in 2009 to more than a hundred in 2013, adding that AOS Owell Limited – a split clamp manufacturer, which participated in the 2009 exhibition had recently secured ISO 9000 certification.

Weli stated, “We have seen progression in terms of number of companies from the first exhibition. It has grown from just over 50 to about 100 and from what we are seeing it is even going to grow more than that.”

He said SPDC had to split the exhibition into two from last year because of the increasing interest of participating companies saying that the Port Harcourt exhibition focuses on land and swamp location activities, while the Lagos exhibition has bias for deep off-shore.

“Basically you can see that there is clear growth in what we are doing. And listening to the exhibitors you heard a lot of them tell you how they have progressed from where they were in the past to where they are today.
“But we always try to remind ourselves that this is a journey, it is a marathon, not a sprint. We cannot start running before we walk. It is going to take time to build capacity. It is not easy but we want to see steady progress,” Weli added.


Information from This Day was used in this report.