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Nigeria can turn Russian-Ukrainian conflict to its advantage - Lee Engineering Group

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The hydrocarbon deficit in Europe gives Nigeria a very good opportunity to get huge investments in its gas distribution industry and build new plants for the production of metal products of a new level of quality, says Dr. Dotta Giuseppe Paone, Lee Engineering Regional Manager for Business Development, Procurement, Project Management in Europe and Africa.

Nigeria can turn Russian-Ukrainian conflict to its advantage - Lee Engineering Group

Nigeria saw excellent opportunities for rapid industrial development of the country against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Europe is grappling with energy supply issues, and some economic experts say African countries seeking strategic industrialization are poised to pursue their dream.

Nigeria's government and private sector have joined forces to implement a strategic transformation in the country's infrastructure. Some local entrepreneurs have committed themselves to being pioneers in various areas of such development.

The Lee Engineering Group, founded by Dr. Leemon Ikpea, has committed resources to establish a steel products manufacturing plant located in Warri, Delta State. According to the press service of the company, this year the metallurgical plant should be put into operation.

Lee International Services SrL was incorporated in March 2009 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Lee Engineering & Construction Co Ltd with the primary purpose of providing international services, training and technology transfer, providing a highly skilled workforce, engineering, project management and international consultancy.

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At a media briefing in Warri, Dr. Dotta Giuseppe Paone, Lee Engineering Regional Manager for Business Development, Procurement, Project Management Europe and Africa, stressed that the new plant will make a huge contribution to Nigeria's industrial transformation.

Relating the current situation to the experience of industrial development in his home country, Italy, he said:

“In the early 60s, Italy (after World War II), Italy was destroyed. I read in books, and my grandfather also told me that Italy was like today's Ukraine - completely destroyed. The USA came with investments, and we started the recovery. Development was rapid in the 60s. We started industrialization from carbon steel, stainless steel and petrochemicals. Today I see the same thing now in Nigeria. You are experiencing the Italian 60s. So, you are developing so much because you have been the leading economy in Africa since 2011.”

Highlighting the crucial role that the plant will play in the country's quest for industrial development, Paone noted that while the aim of the new facility is to produce pressure vessels and heat exchangers designed for low, medium and high pressure for industrial use , it will be possible to produce other industrial tools and equipment using carbon or stainless steel as the raw material.

“We do not focus only on oil and gas. Why do we want to do this? We know from industry experience in Europe that in developing countries such as Nigeria, these goods are consumed by the middle class. So the demand for these products will increase. Their needs will also increase. We want to be leaders in their supply,” said Paone.

He urged Nigeria to take advantage of the situation in Europe to accelerate its industrial development. According to Paone, “Market conditions are at their best right now. With the recent decline in energy supplies caused by the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war in Europe, all policy there is currently being changed in an attempt to help the source of the gas. Europe currently has a good relationship with Nigeria and I think this gives Nigeria a very good opportunity to take advantage of the deficit. I mean right now – not next year, but now.”

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