Nigerian Content: Solewant pipe/metal products are qualitative, unprecedented — Minister

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By Barth Ndubuwah,Port Harcourt

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has described the products manufactured by Solewant Group as of high quality and unprecedented in Nigeria.

The Minister made the assertion in Port Harcourt shortly after inspecting the Solewant Group  facilities at Alode Eleme-Onne, in Rivers State.

Represented by the Team Lead in the Water Resources Ministry, Engr Oyok Nsa, who led the Team of Engineers to the facility, the Minister said categorically that he has not seen any Nigerian Company that has carried out the feat recorded by Solewant Group.

According to him,it is more gratifying to see a hundred percent Nigerian Company manufacture such products in-country and as such Solewant needs to be encouraged and supported.

“We have come for an inspection visit, following a request by Solewant Group.

“The Federal ministry of water resources concerned with the prevalence of material failures in water supply infrastructures in Nigeria occasioned by the use of sub-standard uPVC/HDPE Pipes, Casing, Screens & Fittings and the Ministry is planning to standardizing/regulating the materials to be used in construction of water supply infrastructures in the sector. What we have seen here today is unprecedented.

“The water treatment plant and other pipe production and coating facilities are of high quality and meet International standards. Solewant has proven that they can manufacture high quality tanks and pipes that can convey safe water to the public. We are impressed, so we are going to make our report to the Honourable Minister of Water Resources when we get back,” Nsa said.

He advised aspiring Nigerian Companies to come and learn from Solewant, noting that there is nothing wrong in learning from a master in any field of your endeavour.

On his part, the GCEO of Solewant Group, Mr Solomon Ewanehi said their journey to manufacturing  is an example of value creation, that started as far back as 2004 when the Federal Governnment met with some stakeholders in Abuja to examine progress made by indigenous  industries.

“This led to the development of our Industrial Area. The purpose of this pipe and metals centre is to provide employ to the youth  & training of  engineers  in pipes/pipe coating application services, encouraging local content, technology transfer, to save time of project delivery & minimize cost of projects and efficient pipes/metals coating solution to project owners.

“Consequent upon this, in November 2016, the Governor of Rivers State and the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content and Monitoring Board(NCDMB) came and commissioned our pipe coating plant  and we set out to business. The result is what you saw today,” Ewanehi said.

The GCEO said their strength was derived from the Federal Governnment agencies who provided enabling laws that midwifed the Nigerian Content initiative, which Solewant Group capitalized on to make exploits.

“The Ministry of Water Resources, therefore came to assess and examine our facilities, especially the pipe and water tanks production systems, with a view to ascertaining the quality of our products. We collaborate with our international equipment manufacturing partners from Canada, Netherlands and China to manufacture these standard products in -country. Our pipe-coating facility is of Euro-American technology,” the Solewant Group Managing Director said.

The  facilities inspected at Solewant Group Industrial Area by Technical Team from the  Ministry of Water Resources include; Pipe and metals fabrication centre, State of the art laboratory, fabrication and coating yard of over 139,000 square meters, multi-layer pipe coating plant and concrete weight coating factory.

The GCEO of the Group who said they have spent over $50m and is still investing about $150m in expansion of Automated LSAW pipe milling plant to consolidate and provide standard steel pipes to African Market.

He said, “Nigeria has over the years suffered from inadequate local capacity in the Water, Oil and Gas Industry particularly in the areas of in-country value addition to and production of tubular Goods. To address this gap, the company set up her industrial Area to drive local content and provide direct impetus to the existing Water, Oil and Gas laws and regulations that support local content development. He added that Solewant Industrial Area will also provide a strong African presence, as Nigeria is at the forefront of the West African development where major Oil, Gas and Water facilities are being installed.”

Mr Ewanehi identified environment and patronage as a major challenges, pointing out that their company is not looking at challenges, because they are natural.

The Group  Managing Director said he is more excited that NCDMB has certified Solewant as  original Equipment manufacturers of coating pipes in the country, so if you need such products and solution, you must come to Solewant facility.