Agip Promotes SMEs for Community Sustainability

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  • Trains over 250 candidates from host communities

Amby Uneze in Owerri

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an oil giant operating in the country held a two-day Business and Leadership workshop recently for Small and Medium Scale vendors in the Oil and Gas industry. Already, over 250 candidates from catchment host communities have been trained on various projects.

The workshop, which was held in Owerri, Imo State, according to the organisers, was conceived to improve the business and strategic planning skills for vendors, as well as provide a forum to get practical advice on challenges faced by the vendors in the sector.

In his welcome address, the Vice Chairman/Managing Director of NAOC Limited, Massimo Insulla, said the workshop was part of the programmes planned for the 2017 Eni Nigerian Content Activities, including Succession Planning workshop and Indigenous Technology Forum and Exhibition.

Insulla disclosed that prior to 2016, as part of the capacity development initiatives a total number of 370 vendors were trained under the Vendors Development Programme and Vendors Upgrade, Awareness and Sensitisation Engagement, as well as Vendors Exhibition, Gap closure and opportunities engagement.

He added, “Starting 2016, we diversified into other areas of capacity development. Specifically, we focused on developing and building capacities in the areas of Small and Medium Scale businesses and Community Content. Over 150 indigenous contractors were trained in Business Leadership skills and Succession Planning. The main reason for this diversification is to entrench Small and Medium scale businesses for community content and sustainability”.
He continued that, “we shall be having Business Leadership Workshop, which is designed to be an inspirational programme for business excellence. Selected role models will be sharing their success stories, challenges and critical factors to business survival and sustainability in the prevailing Nigerian economic environment, especially in the oil and gas sector of the Niger Delta region.

“These initiatives are in line with Eni tradition and value of long term partnerships with territories where it operates. In Nigeria, Eni has been in the vanguard of promoting Nigerian Content Development and corporate social responsibility. We pioneered JV Independent Power Project (IPP) in Nigeria with the construction of a Power Plant in Okpai that delivers 480MW of power into the national grid to stimulate the economy and create jobs”, he stated.
The Chief Executive Officer of Oando Energy Resources, Olapade Durotoye, said that the programme, which was established in 2016 “has seen significant growth in promoting Nigerian Content Development and Corporate Social Responsibility through human capacity development, skills acquisition and micro credit programmes across host communities”.

Durotoye, who was represented by the General Manager External Relations, Mr. Kofo Tunji-Olagunji, added further that, “we are passionate about the growth and development of our host communities and indeed our country, Nigeria. We believe that sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all, therefore we are wholly committed to identifying with and supporting government’s pursuit of the national objective of local content development”.
According to him, “as a proudly indigenous Nigerian Company, Oando recognises the value in nurturing long term relationships with our communities and key stakeholders with the ultimate aim of creating a positive and lasting contribution to the socio-economic development in the communities we operate.”

He acknowledged that the private sector was the lifeline of the economy, adding that until leaders in the sector expend their efforts in growing small and medium scale businesses, the stimulation being aimed to provide to the economy would be achieved at a less than satisfactory rate.