Envoy hinges economic growth on improved power supply

Stuart Symington

• Visits Mantrac Nigeria 
United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has expressed optimism that improved power supply in the country would boost the economy. Symington, during a visit to the Head Office of Mantrac Nigeria Limited in Ikeja, Lagos recently, said Nigerians are hardworking and enterprising, and with more concerted efforts, the country will overcome her challenges through improved power supply.

The envoy’s visit was part of efforts at supporting American and other firms with dealership in U.S.-made products. Caterpillar, a U.S. company, manufactures a wide range of power systems and earth moving equipment among other products.

He said that the visit was aimed at seeing companies like Mantrac, understanding their operations and seeking ways of providing opportunities to enable them to boost the Nigerian economy.

Symington, who described Caterpillar and Mantrac partnership in Nigeria as “investment at the highest level,” was shown Mantrac’s range of operations via a slide presentation by the company’s Managing Director, Edmund Martin-Lawson.

The envoy expressed satisfaction with the company’s performance report and its large number of Nigerian work force, and described it as “truly Nigerian.”He proffered useful tips and tasked its management and staff to sustain the culture of excellence for which Caterpillar was known.

He said that over the years, Caterpillar’s involvement in Nigeria had yielded “convincing rewards”, adding that Mantrac had a big role to play in lifting Nigeria and Africa.

In his words: “If Nigeria and Africa do well, the world will do well; if Nigeria and Africa fail to do well, the world will not do well.” He was thereafter, conducted round the company’s critical work areas including the Workshop, Training Centre, Warehouse and Cat Generating Sets CKD factory.

Martin-Lawson told the envoy that the company which is the sole, authorised dealer of Caterpillar products in Nigeria, had set a vision to be a benchmark for Caterpillar dealership globally.

However, he regretted that the Nigerian economy was going through a tough time presently but still remained a large market, describing it as an “excellent investment destination” and a huge opportunity for the Mantrac group.

He said the Company had provided the country’s power needs through the supply of high-tech systems to critical sectors like the Telecom, Marine, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas among others. He said that between 70 and 80 per cent of Caterpillar Generator sets sold by Mantrac were manufactured/assembled in Nigeria.

Martin-Lawson added that it was important for the Embassy to see the operations of companies like Mantrac so they would have a broader idea of their areas of business, and capability.He described the envoy’s visit as encouraging, maintaining that Mantrac was highly honored to host the highest-ranked U.S. citizen in Nigeria.

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