The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MG Vowgas Limited, Mr. Godwin Izomor has declared that the Nigerian fabrication yards now have the capacity to fabricate the modules of Floating Production Storage Offshore vessels (FPSOs) and other complex offshore structures, stressing that the federal government should insist that complex fabrication jobs should be domiciled in-country in line with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010.
Speaking to journalists after a facility tour of his Mount Zion Fabrication Yard in Woji area of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Izomor argued that the international oil companies (IOCs) should no longer export jobs abroad under the excuse that Nigeria does not have the capacity.
â€œBefore now, barges and tug boats are imported from Europe and America under the flimsy excuse that Nigeria did not have the capacity. But today, we have fabricated a lot of equipment without any assistance from anybody. The barges and tugboats we use now in the industry are fabricated here in Nigeria. It is left for the government to support the local companies to insist that all the jobs must be domiciled in Nigeria. They should insist deliberately,â€ he said.
Izomor noted that executing oil and gas industry jobs locally would help to create massive employment opportunities in the country, adding that Korean giants that have operated in Nigeria for over 20 years have not built fabrication yards in Nigeria so as to continue to create job opportunities for their people working in the yards in their home country.
He said that his company in particular has the capacity to fabricate pressure vessels, modules, offshore structures, FPSO structures and topsides, stressing that his yard was built to curb capital flight.
â€œWe built this place to reduce the amount of our money being taken abroad. Can you imagine that Korean companies have been in this country for the past 20 years but none of them has a yard in Nigeria that can even fabricate a container? The reason is that they know that if they build a yard here, their people will not be employed. So, it is our foolishness that kept Nigeria where we are today. Now, we have to believe in ourselves to start doing things in this country,â€ he said.
He argued that no fabrication yard in Nigeria has the kind of equipment in his yard.
â€œWe are even bringing two major equipment. One is the oven. Our furnace has the capacity of 1,600 degree centigrade and is about 200 tonnes furnace. Then, till today, we still import the flanges from India and some other countries.
Even the other yards in Nigeria still import those flanges from abroad. But we are the only company that is going to have it here in Nigeria. We have plasma cutting machine that can cut up to 200-millimetre thickness of plates. We have davvy rolling machine that can roll up to 200 mm thickness plates. We have three automated welding machines that can weld aluminium and stainless steel,â€ he explained.
Izomor identified insecurity, poor electricity supply and lack of funding as some of the threats to local companies.
He also cited the failure of the government to stop the international oil companies from executing jobs outside the country as a major challenge.
According to him, the high cost of security in Nigeria has impacted negatively on the cost of doing business.
Izomor stated that he spends about N500 million yearly on security in his Port Harcourt yard and operation site in Bayelsa.
He urged the federal government to provide security by re-negotiating with the different ethnic groups agitating in the country.
â€œThe government should re-negotiate with the different groups agitating for different reasons. I am a businessman and I donâ€™t want to go into the demand of each ethnic group. It is not my business. My business is to do business while the government gives us security,â€ he said.