Lee Engineer International Machinery Services Ltd., an equipment manufacturing centre, will be inaugurated by the Federal Government in the first quarter of 2023 to boost oil and gas production. Dr. Leemon Ikpea, CEO of Lee Engineering Construction Company Ltd., said this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday. The facility is an arm of Lee Engineering Group, a leading indigenous oil, gas and power services company, in Nigeria. Once completed, the facility would produce gas-specific heat exchangers, high-pressure vessels, scuppers and various other equipment used in the oil and gas industry and beyond. Ikpea, who commended the Federal Government for enacting the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, NOGICD said that the company’s 31 years of existence have been dedicated to serving the oil and gas industry. Nigerian gas.
He said that the implementation of the NOGICD went a step further in encouraging local manufacturing and workshop manufacturing to boost local content and curb importation. Ikpea said the factory would have been started up this period to mark its 31st anniversary were it not for some technical problems. Ikpea said that the problem would be solved in Europe. “As soon as the issues are resolved, the factory will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2023. It is going to save money for the country as long as there is sponsorship, including Angola and Mozambique. We are also building a pier near the factory for export,” he said.
He said that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and his counterpart in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, have already inspected the factory. He said the project had also been overseen by the Content Development and Monitoring Board. Ikpea, who pioneered the defence of local content, said the move would protect the interests of indigenous contractors. We have trained many Nigerians in various parts of the world to handle the equipment,” he added. According to him, foreign companies cannot transfer technology and knowledge to Nigerians, so he decided to develop the initiative to boost the process.
Ikpea said it took note of the role some Nigerians played in the construction while working with a UK-based company that specialised in building oil storage tanks in the 1980s during the construction of the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company. Ltd. He said that the large structures were erected, the foreigners only brought their cranes, forklifts and other equipment that they supervised. “The Nigerians were doing the main jobs, including welding, electricity and erections, while the foreigners supervised. Working with British and Italian companies exposed me to the fact that Nigerians are talented, hard-working and committed. From that experience, I was inspired to transfer knowledge to others,” he said. He called on the government to strengthen and sustain the NCDMB to facilitate the growth of skills, technology and competition in the country. Ikpea also called for a higher percentage of local content in the oil and gas industry to encourage more indigenous participation. NAN