By John Ikani
An oil and gas service company, Coleman Technical Industries Limited (CTIL), has commissioned its multi-billion-dollar fibre optic cable manufacturing factory as it targets maximising advantages of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to play big in the African market.
The company is renowned for manufacturing different specifications of high voltage and low voltage cables for the oil and gas industry as well as the construction sector.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr Simbi Kesiye Wabote in company of the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, commissioned the factory located at Arepo, Ogun State on Friday.
The world-class facility is the first of its kind in the West Africa region and 5th in Africa and is expected to help develop the digital economy of the country and the West African region.
Congratulating the company for the feat it achieved, Engr. Wabote remarked that the company has successfully leveraged on the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act to invest in difficult terrains that were not possible prior to the enactment of the Act.
According to him: “It gladdens my heart to say that Coleman has never looked back and it continues to expand its footprint in the industrialization roadmap of Nigeria. Today is a testament to such expansion efforts.”
Represented at the event by the General Manager, Project Certification and Authorization Division, Engr. Paul Zuhumben, the NCDMB boss hinted that fibre optic cable factory will further support the employment creation drive of the Federal government as the facility will employ about 500 persons.
He added that Coleman is well positioned to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which seeks to enable unhindered movement of business, goods and services across the African continent because some of its facilities do not exist in most parts of the continent.
While encouraging Nigeria businesses to emulate Coleman by positioning themselves to take advantage of the provisions of AfCFTA, the NCDMB boss pledged that the Board would continue to support the investment and ensure that project promoters and stakeholders of the Oil and Gas sector buy their fibre optic cables in-country in order to sustain the operations of the facility.
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun hinted that the factory would boost the development of digital economy infrastructure as well as advance teaching and learning processes in academic institutions across the state and the country.
Abiodun noted that the facility would conserve foreign exchange, promote technology transfer as well as generate employment and alleviate poverty in the state.
In his words, “the manufacture of fibre optic cables locally will aid the deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the different sectors of the economy. It will boost tech innovation, advancement in teaching and learning processes in our academic institutions, improve medical care, improve ease and access to data information and enhance internet connection.”
Delivering his welcome address, the Managing Director of Coleman Technical Industries Limited (CTIL), Mr. George Onafowokan disclosed that the company had firm belief in local content and building capacity locally to generate wealth and create jobs.
Onafowokan mentioned that the facility will create about 800 direct jobs and over 2000 indirect jobs. He added that the company is set to commence work on the second phase of the factory in order to meet the market demand for fibre optic cables.