New partnership deals that would facilitate business opportunities for indigenous British oil firms in the country will soon start ensue following a business forum hosted for the purpose by Shell Nigeria Exploration Company Ltd (SNEPCo). Shell’s Nigerian spokesman, Precious Okolobo, said 100 delegates representing 56 companies from Nigeria and the United Kingdom explored opportunities for collaboration at the annual Nigeria-UK Supplier Engagement programme organised by Shell.
He said SNEPCo hosted the Lagos event in conjunction with the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) to bring together companies engaged in a wide variety of activities in the oil and gas industry including engineering, maintenance, fabrication and subsea support services.
The UK delegation, which included Nigerian experts who participated in previous business summits in Aberdeen and London, first met with Shell companies in Nigeria on areas of need and technical gaps. Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Osagie Okunbor, stated: “The striking feature of this year’s business summit is the presence of Nigerians in the diaspora in the UK delegation. It shows that, our engagements with Nigerians to take up opportunities back home in the oil and gas industry, is being well received, and this is good news for everybody.”
The UK delegation also held networking meetings with their Nigerian counterparts which included several members of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN). “Shell has a long-term and continuing commitment to Nigeria, its people and the economy,” said Chiedu Oba, General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, Shell Nigeria in a welcome address. “One of the most significant ways we have delivered on that commitment is by increasing the participation of Nigerian companies and individuals in our supply chain and operations – to ensure that as many Nigerians as possible benefit from our activities and business.”
The General Manager Production PSC in the National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS) enjoined the participating companies to work towards taking advantage of upcoming opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. He reiterated the importance of local content in the growth of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
UKTI Director Chris Maskell thanked Shell for the continued support on the Nigeria-UK Supplier Engagement programme. Also speaking at a reception organised by UKTI for the suppliers, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Contend Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Denzil Kentebe lauded the Shell initiative to foster partnerships that will help local vendors strengthen their technical capability.
SNEPCo initiated the Nigeria- UK Supplier Engagement programme in 2009, and has this led to some 27 partnerships between Nigerian and UK companies with another 43 partnership discussions progressing well. Shell Companies in Nigeria are major contributors to the national economy, not only through the energy they produce and the revenues generated, but also via achievements in supply chain, local content and social investment.