*Builds Air Boat with Local Content
An indigenous firm, MG Vowgas Limited has continued to receive accolades over the award it clinched at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS).The firm won the award in the “Local Content Company of the Year” category which was contested by several companies doing business in the country.
The award is coming on the heels of its building a specialised air boat that has the capability to move on land and on water.
Called air ballistic boat, the river craft has features that can be fitted with arms and ammunition that can fire in any military operation on land or sea.
The engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) firm which is the operator of the Mount Zion Fabrication Yard located in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt was lauded for the strides it has made since it started operation in the heart of the oil and gas rich Niger Delta region over a decade ago.
Besides the state of the art facilities that can handle various types of jobs in the oil and gas industry hitherto carried out outside the shores of Nigeria, the firm also have the required manpower to carry out its various operations.
Stakeholders who spoke to Maritime Bits gave the company kudos for the award even as they called for support and encouragement to ensure that it do more in the years ahead.
One of the players in the oil, gas and maritime industries, Mr. Lawrence Nwachukwu told our correspondent that indigenous companies like MG Vowgas Limited should be encouraged by the government to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Nwachukwu who has been operating in the oil and gas industry as well as the maritime sector of the economy argued that if indigenous firms are supported by the government and its agencies, they would be in a position to provide the much needed employment opportunities for many Nigerians presently roaming the streets for non-existing jobs.
“If in its own little way, this company can do this, imagine what it will do if it is given the desired support by the government. I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that not only MG Vowgas Limited but other firms would be in a position to address the numerous challenges posed by unemployment in the country. It will also address the issue of insecurity in the country. This is due to the fact that anyone who is fully engaged in any meaningful venture will not be readily available for insurgency, banditry, terrorism or any other form of criminal activities in the country. That is why I am of the view that the government should do everything possible to build indigenous capacity in all sectors of the economy especially in the oil and gas industry, as well as the maritime sector of the economy”, he added.
Already, the firm has expressed its readiness to partner with the Nigeria Army to produce some of the equipment the military presently procures from overseas in its operations.
The Group Managing Director of MG Vowgas Limited, Mr. Godwin Izomor who disclosed this while taking journalists on a tour of the company facilities in Port Harcourt recently maintained that the firm has what it takes to deliver on its mandate, particularly in the production of the much needed specialised equipment for the military.
He expressed delight in the confidence the military repose in his firm just as he reiterated his call for encouragement and support so that Nigeria can save the foreign exchange she presently uses to procure equipment from foreign countries.
His words: “We have what it takes to deliver. As you can see, we have the facilities. We also have the personnel, Nigerians and expatriates. What we need is the support and encouragement of stakeholders particularly the government. I can assure you that when that when we get the support from all stakeholders, the sky is the limit for what we want to achieve in the months ahead”.
To ensure the sustainability of the company operations, Izomor revealed that the Nigerian personnel in the company are already understudying some of the expatriates so that with time, they would be in a position to effectively take over their present roles and responsibilities in the firm.
Izomor who is known for his vast knowledge of the oil, gas, and maritime industry disclosed that the firm is working closely with the Defence Research and Development Bureau (BRDB) of the Ministry of Defence to build ballistic missiles, submarines, satellite rockets and other specialised equipment for the military.
According to him, the Chief of Defence Staff, General A. G Olonisakin has also visited the facility and was impressed by what he met on ground. We demonstrated what this boat can do on land and water to his entourage. The military chief and his entourage saw what we have on ground at our facility and they were impressed by the strides we have made so far. Remember, this is a wholly indigenous firm. In line with the provisions of the Local Content Act, we source most of our materials locally.
In order to address the challenge of over dependence on foreign countries on its basic needs, he stated that his firm gone into partnership with several manufacturers to develop human capacity in most of its areas of operations.
“”We are doing all these to show our people that we do not need to go overseas to procure this equipment. This is due to the fact that we have the capacity to build them here locally. These ae not empty words, as you can see them with your own eyes. This is not overseas. This is Nigeria. That is why we are calling on everyone to be on board so that we can take our country to the desired height in every sphere of human endeavours, particularly in the oil, gas and maritime industries”, he added.