By Abimbola Fshakin, Lagos
Italian oil giant, Eni, has restated its commitment to the development and promotion of made-in-Nigeria products to improve the country’s economy. The company, which operates the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), said it would continue to increase the Nigerian content in its operations to sustain its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.
According to a statement from the company, the Vice-Chairman, Managing Director of NAOC, Mr. Massimo Insulla, made the commitment in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during a two-day Business Leadership Workshop organised by the company as part of its 2016 content activities.
Representatives of the Nigeria Content Development Management Board (NCDMB), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Yenagoa and Port Harcourt chapters of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, as well as Wider Perspective, among others, attended the event.
Eni at the event signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zenith Bank PLC to provide credit facilities to companies doing business with it as part of Vendors Finance Scheme it launched in 2014.
Insulla, who was represented by NAOC’s Manager, Nigerian Content Coordination District, Mr. Albert Ijigwe, said Eni would continue to respect all Nigerian laws and guidelines relating to process for award of contracts.
He said the company had so far trained 360 persons under its Vendors Development Programme and 250 persons under its Vendors Awareness and Sensitisation Engagement adding that 120 persons participated as vendors in its vendors exhibition, gap closure and opportunities engagement.
He said the capacity development initiatives for entrepreneurs had been diversified to include business development workshop, succession planning workshop and indigenous technology forum.
“The main reason for this diversification is to entrench small and medium scale businesses for community content and development”, Insulla said.
He said the business leadership workshop was designed as an inspirational programme for promotion of business excellence.
He said some business role models had been selected to tell vendors their success stories, challenges, and critical factors to business survival and sustainability in the prevailing Nigerian economic environment.
Reinstating commitment to the Nigerian content, Insulla further recalled that the company pioneered Independent Power Project (IPP) in the country with the construction of a power plant in Okpai.
He said the plant delivered 480MW of power into the national grid to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
He noted that Eni maintained leadership in the areas of access to energy, water, health, education, social infrastructures, employment, human capacity building, skill acquisition, micro credit and access to food through agricultural programme.