VENTURES AFRICA – Arrangements have been finalised for General Electric (GE) to begin the construction of a multi-billion naira engineering manufacturing plant at the Calabar Free Trade Zone, following an agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria in January.
“Any moment from now, work on the site of GE’s engineering manufacturing plant will commence. We have given them land and very soon their engineers will mobilise to site and start work; they said they will be committing about 250 million naira ($1.6 million) in the first phase,’’ said Mr Sadiq Kasim, General Manager of the Calabar FTZ.
Minister of Information Mr Labaran Maku described the GE project as “unprecedented” adding that Nigeria would soon become the hub for GE’s operations in Africa.
According to Business Day, Kasim explained that the plant would be designed for the manufacture of generator turbines for power plants, coaches for trains, engines for aircrafts as well as hospital equipment, among others.
He said that the project would create jobs for about 300 Nigerian engineers and technicians and a technology transfer programme to benefit Nigerians.
The Calabar Free Trade Zone accommodates 25 companies operating employing a total of over 5,000 workers directly and 1,000 others indirectly. Monthly internally-generated revenue of the zone is between 80 million naira ($510,000) and 100 million naira ($640,000).
Aligning with Nigeria’s goals for growth through its Vision 2020, GE signed a landmark Country to Company agreement aimed at fostering partnerships and driving critical infrastructure projects across the country. With more than 200 employees and facilities on the ground, GE has been committed to supporting the country’s growth in various sectors such as health care, energy, transportation and aviation.