... as MAN wants industrial sector to ramp up to 15% of GDP
Nigeria has joined the global league of countries producing low voltage panels and electrical switchgear, high precision electrical engineering products used by international oil companies (IOCs), petrochemicals, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and electricity distribution companies, following the commissioning of Alcon Nigeria’s production plant in Port Harcourt.
Alcon’s low voltage panel assembly plant has also received international certification from ABB, a global giant in electrical engineering; as well as local certifications from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).
Uba Obasi, executive director,manufacturing at Alcon Nigeria Limited, said that the low voltage panels assembly plant seeks to bridge the current gap of providing value-added quality products to the local market as an authorised channel partner builder with ABB, one of the largest multinationals in electrical engineering.
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The ABB certification clearly positions Alcon Nigeria as authorised panel builders operating IEC 61439 Parts 1 and 2 Construction of Low Voltage Assemblies.
The Port Harcourt based company also has ISO 14001:2015 certificates for quality and environmental systems, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) certification for MANCAP and Category A NCEC certificate for Electrical Switchgear and Panel Building from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The commissioning ceremony attracted the major clients of Alcon Nigeria which include: Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Addax, Indorama, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED), Greenville Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), SNEPCo, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), among others.
Executive secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote said that with the successful establishment of the Alcon Assembly Low Voltage Panels, there will be no further need for the IOCs, LNGs, petrochemicals and electricity distribution companies to import such products.
Olatunde Ayeni, chairman of Alcon Nigeria Limited, said that the plant was built with support from the Bank of Industry (BoI); adding that the company has been established to help grow the nation’s economy. He said the facility came to fruition within two years.
He noted that Rivers State has a hospitable investment climate, and that he has enjoyed the state’s working environment.
Gerardo Della Santa, managing director of Alcon Nigeria Limited, said the successful completion and operation of the factory is a landmark development. He noted that the factory will enhance technology transfer by its operation.
Meanwhile, the president of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed, an engineer, said that the process of reviving the manufacturing sector in Port Harcourt should continue, as the city deserves to be one of Nigeria’s industrial hubs.
“The time has come for the public and private sectors to work together to grow industries,” he said.
Ahmed noted that the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy should grow from present nine percent to 15 percent. According to him, the manufacturing sector must take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA).
On his part, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike declared that his administration will continue to work with the private sector to revive the manufacturing sector of the state. He said his administration was committed to creating the right environment for investors to develop more factories in the state.
“Rivers State Government will cooperate with the private sector to revive our manufacturing sector. Our commitment is to revive the Trans Amadi Industrial Layout,” Governor Wike said.
He said the ultimate goal is to generate employment opportunities for the youths; adding that “as we continue to encourage private investors to come to the state, we urge them to look towards our youths for skilled labour, as most of them are qualified.”
Wike urged the organised private sector to form a pressure group to prevail on the Federal Government to revive the two ports in Rivers State; noting that once the two ports become functional, they will take off the unnecessary pressures and congestion on Lagos ports, thereby expanding the national economy.