The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle has said that the U.S government will continue to encourage American companies in investing significantly in Nigeria.
Ambassador Entwistle was speaking in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, South-South Nigeria, when he visited General Electric’s planned manufacturing and assembly facility.
The ambassador said he was impressed with GE’s investment commitment with the Calabar facility which will help improve the local and national community.
According to him, General Electric has proved through the project that foreign direct investment can thrive in Nigeria, stating that contrary to the impression created in some quarters, Nigeria can be a pleasant place to do business if investors are ready to adapt to the country’s peculiarities.
The President and CEO of GE Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo thanked the U.S Ambassador for the tremendous support of GE investment commitments in Nigeria.
He disclosed that GE remains committed to localising operations in the country through job creation, technology and skills transfer, training and supplier development, stressing that over 90 percent of GE’s management team in Nigeria was made up of Nigerians.
GE’s investment plans for Nigeria include a $250 million capital expenditure for the manufacturing facility in Calabar that will make Nigeria a regional hub for manufacturing, service, and innovation with an improved ability to support a broader range of product lines in power generation as well as oil & gas exploration and production.
The company will also invest significantly over the next five years in local souring of goods/ services, labour, staff welfare and training.
The planned investment is expected to create 300 new jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs through over 50 new suppliers who will support its expanded operations.
GE also plans to build a training facility on its manufacturing site to ensure on-going employee development, while it plans to provide one-year to four-year training programmes locally and internationally for repair engineers, welders, fabricators, machinists and special processing.