Real sector crisis worsens, firms may wind up by March – MAN

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  • NNPC/Chevron gas project to improve power

Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) yesterday raised the alarm that many companies in the manufacturing sector might be forced to close down when they run out of raw materials to continue production.

Disclosing this at the 2016 MAN-Media Luncheon for the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria, CICAN, in Lagos, President of the Association, Dr. Frank Jacobs attributed the worsening operations of many Bank of Nigeria, CBN, policy restricting some 41 items from accessing foreign exchange through official forex windows.

According to him, the restriction of the items could be seen as the right direction to some extent, but that the policy measure had to be reviewed as some of the items on the restriction list include materials used by those manufacturers, which could not be sourced locally.

Jacobs said the call for revision of the forex policy on the affected items that could not be produced or sourced locally formed one of the association’s advocacy campaigns since last year in furtherance of its commitment towards stabilising the nation’s economy.

He said: “In the last one year, the association engaged government at all levels including Ministries, Departments and Agencies on a number of issues affecting the manufacturing sector and the Nigerian economy. Some of the issues advocated on were resolved while others are currently being addressed. In broad terms, the Association recorded remarkable advocacy successes.”

The industrialist explained that the advocacy had improved MAN’s consultation and contributions to strategic policies of government as members of several committees of government such as the Presidential Jobs Board, Steering Committee of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME, as well as the Steering Committee of National Quality Infrastructure Project.

He listed some of the results of such constructive engagement with the authorities to include successful resistance of the implementation of MYTO 2.1 introduced by Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, and Distribution Companies, DISCOs. He also recalled that the association was in court with NERC and the DISCOs on their contentious bills and had obtained an injunction restraining them from applying such charges or disconnecting members who refused to pay at the MYTO 2.1 rate.

The association also advocated for the removal of the monthly exorbitant fixed charges collected from electricity users by DISCOs; the non-reflection in MYTO 2.1 and the downward review of electricity bills for SMIs in particular and prorating of electricity charges to consumption.

Jacobs said the association had strengthened its cooperation and collaboration with government agencies, such as Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, among others.

He pointed out that the association’s collaborations with SON led to the sustenance of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations on the 25 per cent reduction on all SON administrative charges as well as SONCAP exemption for the importation of spare parts, machinery, raw materials and packaging materials and the issuance of the annual import permits to manufacturers.

He also disclosed that MAN had improved the implementation processes of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, PAAR, implementation processes in conjunction with the Customs Service.

Meanwhile, to improve power supply and support government’s effort to reduce gas flaring, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, and Chevron Nigeria Limited, NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, have announced the completion and load-out of the topside module of the SONAM N on-Associated Gas, NAG, Wellhead Platform project.

The initiative will enable the delivery of up to 420 million cubic feet per day (MMCF/d) of gas from SONAM to the Escravos Gas Plant.

Speaking at the launch, the Director, Business Services, CNL, Mr Emmanuel Imafidon, said: “The partnership for the project module was delivered as part of the domestic supply obligation (050)-MEREN; Gas Gathering Compression Platform, GGCP; and SONAM Non-Associated Gas Wellhead Platform, NWP, project which was last in the set of
structures built on the Snake Island by Nigerdock for the project.”

He explained that the project also provided engineering training for 35 Nigerians for the Nigeria Content Development Management Board, NCDMB trainees through 12 weeks of engineering & project management courses.

This also included construction training for 160 trainees in fields ranging from welding, fitting, and scaffolding. “We also scoped the execution of small subcontract fabrication and supply services to our Escravos neighboring community contractors,” he added.

With regard to the project capacity, Imafidon noted that weighing in at 2,700 tons, a height of 28 metres, width of 40 metres and a length of 50 metres made it the
largest topside module ever built in-country, adding, “significantly this feat was achieved by an indigenous company.”

According to him, “The SONAM topside is the final piece in the set of structures built by Nigerdock for the project. Nigerdock’s scope on the project comprised the construction and load out of flare bridges, flare towers, jacket piles, LQP deck, LQ bridge, the Meren and Sonam jackets and this topside module, which till date is the largest ever jacket fabricated in Nigeria.

He also recalled that less than 36 months after the steel cutting, the project is ready for load out, adding that through partnership with Nigerdock and Hyundai Heavy Industries, HHI, the venture partners “recorded a safety achievement of over 2.8 million cumulative man-hours on the project. Also we have recorded Living Quarters Deck fabrication without an injury or incident.”

Also speaking, the Group Managing Director, NAPTIMS, Dafe Sejebor, also represented by the General Manager, JV Oil Operations, Mrs. Kate Iheme, expressed satisfaction with the project completion, adding that investment of this kind will shore in rapid development to the economy.

She said: “MEREN Gas Gathering Compression Platform, GGCP, and SONAM development is a major lift forward in building of natural gas extracted during NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture operations for power generation.

“However, this will eliminating gas flaring from its access, and is expected to grow investment opportunity to boast the Government economic diversification efforts”

On his part; the Chairman, Nigerdock and Jagal Group, Mr. Anwar Jamarkani, said: “Nigeria’s vision has always targeted at the maximising of immense potential from the oil and gas industry to foster national economy development in breath taking divinity of its people.”

National Mirror with additional report from Upshot