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 were the outcome of several business summits held in Lagos, Abuja, London and Aberdeen.
According to a press statement issued and signed by Mr. Bamidele Odugbesan, Spokesperson to Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd and , the partnerships cover a wide range of oil and gas activities including engineering, maintenance, fabrication and support services.
Working closely with the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI), SNEPCo initiated the business summits in 2009,
The collaboration created 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 and has helped to improve local capacity in innovation and technology which has now been replicated in Kazakhstan and Iraq.
The press statement noted that about 90 percent of contracts in Shell Companies in Nigeria were awarded to Nigerian companies in 2014, just as the use of locally manufactured goods and Nigerian service providers creates employment opportunities in communities in which Shell companies operate and that 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.
Commenting on the partnership of UKTI and Shell when the UKTI led by the Director of Trade in Nigeria, Chris Maskell, paid him a courtesy call, Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Osagie Okunbor, expressed pleasure over the collaboration.
“We are pleased with the progress that has been made with the collaboration of UKTI and Shell. We will continue to support the initiative given the benefits and potential to drive growth in the Nigerian economy.”
Responding, 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.”
Several companies from the United Kingdom will be looking to take advantage of pre qualification and tendering activities scheduled for the years 2015/16 at the 2015 Nigeria-UK business summit slated for July 2015 in Lagos.