A total of 27 partnerships have been agreed by Nigerian and British companies under the auspices of the annual Nigeria-UK engagement programme sponsored by the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo). The partnerships cover a wide range of oil and gas activities including engineering, maintenance, fabrication and support services and were the outcome of several business summits held in Lagos, Abuja, London and Aberdeen.
Working closely with the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI), SNEPCo initiated the business summits in 2009, creating valuable opportunities for Nigerian and British companies to collaborate to close the technical gaps that exist in the oil and gas industry as a result of the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010. The collaboration has helped to improve local capacity in innovation and technology. This model has now been replicated in Kazakhstan and Iraq.
“We are pleased with the progress that has been made with the collaboration of UKTI and Shell,” said Osagie Okunbor, Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) when the UKTI, led by the Director of Trade in Nigeria, Chris Maskell, paid him a courtesy call. “We will continue to support the initiative given the benefits and potential to drive growth in the Nigerian economy.”
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Maskell said: “The partnerships have significantly increased the scope of operations for both the British and Nigerian companies and can only get better as they explore more areas of co-operation. We are grateful for the continued support of Shell for this initiative.”
A recent reform of the programme ensures that Nigerian suppliers now take the lead in deciding potential UK companies that they would like to meet and partner with for project delivery in areas of key needs. The 2015 Nigeria-UK business summit is slated for this month (July) in Lagos where UK companies will be looking to take advantage of prequalification and tendering activities scheduled for 2015/16. About 90% of contracts in Shell Companies in Nigeria were awarded to Nigerian companies in 2014. The use of locally manufactured goods and Nigerian service providers creates employment opportunities in communities in which Shell companies operate.