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Focus on Nigeria’s 100 most proactive, result-driven CEOs in 2020 – Part Four

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Even before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for the world economy – and especially developing countries like Nigeria – was fragile, as global GDP growth was estimated to be only 2.5% in 2020.

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Based on this unanticipated and unpleasant reality, the consequences have been devastating and enormous on business organisations, whereby a number of them have resorted to downsizing and laying off staff in order to cut down costs, improve operational capacity, and effectively deliver on set target.

However, despite the daunting challenges and dire outcome on the fortunes of many, some result- driven Chief Executives have been able to
navigate their organizations to optimal operational effectiveness, efficiency, and visibility. These they have made possible through the application of ingenious management practices, prudent management of resources, as well as excellent, proactive and innovative solutions and ideas in achieving set goals and objectives

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While they defy the apparent harsh economic environment by piloting the affairs of their companies to profitability, these exceptional men and women deserve recognition for their out-of-the-box innovations and enviable CSR interventions. Indeed, they deserve laurels in their efforts and contributions to the stability and growth of the nation’s economy, as well as modelling other upcoming businesses.

In this Special Annual Series, The Guardian features some of the selected CEOs of excellence in this outgoing year, 2020.

VALENTINE UGBEIDE: A Nigerian Professional Inspiring the World

Valentine Ugbeide, Managing Director/CEO, Gremoore Limited

His high level of professionalism in getting things done timely without compromising on quality, speaks volume of his increasing passion to inspire the world. With over 20 years of active service in the Nigerian Energy Sector, Mr. Valentine Ugbeide, Managing Director/CEO, Gremoore Limited, has rightfully earned himself a place as an authority in energy matters. With strategic partnership across borders, Gremoore – a leading engineering, procurement, construction and project management company in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, has over the years achieved a track record of unwavering excellence in the execution of projects and providing bespoke solutions to its various clients.

A graduate of the University of Benin where he bagged his first degree in Mechanical Engineering, Ugbeide joined Halliburton as a service operator upon completion of the NYSC programme and subsequently rose to serve as Field Services Supervisor, Technical Professional, Senior Technical Professional before being promoted to the position of Business Development Manager in 2006. During this period, he served globally on various projects for the company.

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He further progressed his career as Sales and Marketing Manager at Acergy (now Subsea7) from 2008 till 2011 when he was promoted as Director, Commercials. Eventually, he was appointed to the Board of Globestar Engineering/Subsea7, making him the first African director on the books of the company worldwide. 

He served in that capacity till February 2014 when he embarked on a journey to fulfil his entrepreneurial dream with the establishment of Gremoore Limited – a company which is presently regarded as one of the most competitive EPCI companies in Nigeria and West Africa. He is a member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE). He spoke more on germane issues in this interview

Gremoore’s Business Portfolio and Strategies

Within the last three years, Gremoore successfully completed multi-million dollar EPCI projects, meeting the safety, quality, cost and schedule targets of our key client – ExxonMobil. The key strategies that helped us in expanding our portfolios include

We focused intensely on our corporate safety culture, achieving the commendable milestone of 2 Million Safe Man-Hours in December 2019 without a Lost Time Incident (LTI). As a result, we won the Best Overall Performance Award at the 2019 Mobil Producing Nigeria Contractor’s Safety Forum; this award is the highest honour that all Mobil Producing Nigeria (ExxonMobil) vendors (both international and local) generally aspire to achieve. 

Similarly, we developed and documented processes and procedures for our Gremoore Management System consistent with ISO 9001 requirement to ensure we consistently deliver services satisfactory to our clientele for “repeat business”. 

In 2020, we entered into an exclusive partnership with DeepOcean, a leading subsea company to provide bespoke Subsea Inspection, Maintenance & Repair (IMR) services in Nigeria. 

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As a player in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, what makes your organization unique and to what extent would you say your company has contributed to the local content initiative? 

With our corporate headquarters in Lagos, fabrication yard in Port Harcourt, and global strategic partnerships, we provide excellent offshore EPCI services to the Energy Sector, such as Shallow Water Conventional Pipe-Lay, Brownfield Maintenance/Hook-Up, Fabrication of Offshore Infrastructure and Deepwater/SURF Services.

 The dedication and professionalism of our management and employees reflects our core values – Safety, Integrity and Performance (SIP). Our execution philosophy, processes, procedures and work ethics are driven by these values which gives us a “unique identity” in the industry and motivates us to consistently deliver our projects successfully, safely, on time, within budget and meeting client requirement.

Our contribution to local content cannot be overemphasised; We employ over a 100 Nigerian Technical and Project Support Staff, together with over 350 Offshore Construction and Fabrication Workers. With a strong focus on improving local content, we consistently use qualified local suppliers and vendors, community workers and sub-contractors as partners in every project we have executed. In summary, we are 100% world-class and 100% Nigerian.

With regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, how has it impacted your services and what opportunities have you identified from the current situation in growing your brand? 

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No doubt, the current pandemic created a unique global crisis for every country and business sector. However, I am positive that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry will emerge from the “COVID-19 era” stronger. Gremoore felt obligated to share the pains of our client who are experiencing significant operating cost increases with low income due to oil price drop. Gremoore discounted her contract rates remembering that our Client such as ExxonMobil supported us in building capacity and creating employment, however, with the gradual and steady rise in oil prices, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

We identified several opportunities and strategies for growing our brand during this difficult period, some of which are; 

  • Initiating several partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders on cost reduction where practical without compromising safety and quality. 
  • Thinking through and adjusting to our customers’ novel needs. 
  • Improving our business communication and commercial strategies. 
  • Collaborating with our client’s to deploy COVID-19 compliant solutions such as:  

We see stronger enforcement of the requirements of Nigerian Content in tendering for all major projects with the IOCs and NOCs. This has significantly increased opportunities for Nigerian companies like us to emerge as major players.

What would you describe as the biggest motivation that has brought you this far in your career?

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My biggest motivation is that GOD is Great because HE gave us the Holy Spirit. I work very closely with the Holy Spirit as a firm believer because the Word of God says the Holy Spirit knows ALL things and will teach you anything. My family indeed has been one of the biggest sources of inspiration and my strongest supporters as well. I am an unapologetic optimist and through the years, I have engrained positivism into my life. Knowing the fact that my hard work and perseverance will help me achieve greater professional success is also what keeps me going. More so, knowing that my efforts are aligned with a divine path encourages me to push further.

What are your goals for Gremoore Limited in the next five years? 

We intend to be and remain leaders in offshore services for the energy industry by continually delivering our projects according to our core values – this is the core of our mission and vision. Our goals in the next five years are clear-cut and SMART!

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ANAGA CHEKWAS: Professional of Excellence With Unrivaled Experience in IT Infrastructure

Chekwas Anaga

Chekwas Anaga has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry in Nigeria including extensive management responsibilities at Soft Solutions Limited. His experience cuts across several industries like Financial, Oil & Gas, FMCG, Manufacturing, Telecommunication, SMB’s, as well as designing IT security infrastructure for many organizations.

Within the past two decades, Chekwas has acquired numerous professional certificates which include MCP, CCNA, CISM, CISA, ITIL Foundation, Checkpoint Firewall Specialist, amongst others. With an Executive MBA from Business School of Netherlands (BSN), he is a member of several professional bodies such as the Information Systems Audit and Controls Association (ISACA), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Computer Professionals of Nigeria (CPN), Project Management Institute (PMI), Institute of Information Management Africa (IIMA). A Fellow of Institute of Information Management Africa, and Brand Management of Nigeria, he was awarded the Business Excellence Certificate by World Confederation of Businesses in 2017 for his contribution in business. Recently, he became a Fellow, Institute of Management Consultants and Certified Management Consultant.

Chekwas undertakes consulting assignments in IT Infrastructure and Security and has provided his services to many organizations. Having worked closely with various OEMs like McAfee, Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix technologies for over 15 years, he has an almost unrivaled experience in understanding what the partners and customers needs are in IT infrastructure management.

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He joined Soft Solutions Ltd in 1995 as a Software Engineer; from where he rose through the ranks to become a member of the management team of the organization, and in October 2016, he was appointed the Managing Director/CEO.

Speaking on his personal background and career passion, Chekwas said in his younger age he has “always loved to fix things, to see people happy when you help them solve a problem. I identified IT as one way I can achieve this. That is why I started off as a programmer. It was my passion to design applications that solve business problems.”

He explained that “the re-positioning of Soft Solutions Limited to the path of phenomenal growth, significant strength was the result of delivering on our promises; we do not take on projects we cannot complete. Our focus has always been to ensure the customer is satisfied and gets value from their investment in securing their IT infrastructure.”

Concerning the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant disruption to the global business landscape, the IT guru submitted that “the Soft Solutions is a very dynamic organization and has been able to adapt its processes and procedures to align with the market or economics indices of the moment. 

Before COVID-19, we had in place a process for working remotely, all we did was to activate it fully. And our customers were happy to get this service despite its challenges. Despite these processes being in place, we have a crop of dedicated staff who equally adjusted to the new normal. With good human resource, we are able to identify clear thinkers in our hiring process and we give them opportunities to excel.”

He agreed that “for every upcoming entrepreneur in Nigeria, there is the challenging start point especially with the current economic environment. Nevertheless, young entrepreneurs need to be self-motivated to be able to sustain the growth of their business. Similarly, he/she must be able to learn, focus, strategize and effectively communicate his/her vision, ideas, plans, and goals to business partners, customers, existing and potentials employees.

Potential entrepreneur must have intelligent approach to issues, decent presentation, integrity, and astute management of financial resources, including passion to push the brand – this is the fuel that fires self-motivation.

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DAPO OMOLADE: Purpose-driven Professional, Passionately Leading the Crusade for a Safe Society

Dapo Omolade

Intelligent and unassuming, Dapo Omolade’s success story as a safety professional, consultant and auditor is that which is characterised by perseverance, courage, resilience and selflessness. With over 20 years’ industry experience, Dapo has continued to be at the forefront in the crusade for safety practises at work places across Nigeria.

This passion birthed the Hybrid Group in 2007 and like the oak tree, the company has evidently grown to become a major player in the industry with five independent, but service-related companies, operating across Nigeria, Ghana, UK and the USA. In addition, the company is also the official franchisee of DGM in Nigeria and Ghana – an international business franchise involved in safe transportation of dangerous goods through the air, land and sea.

A visionary and purpose-driven CEO who sees every challenge as an opportunity to achieve more, Omolade disclosed that venturing fully into the safety business as an entrepreneur in 2010 was filled with challenges as there were no structures for safety management in most work places which was owing to the fact that health and safety practises were of little or no significance in Nigeria.

According to the Hybrid Group boss, the company is reputed in the provision of all aspects of occupational health, safety and environment services which include training, consultancy, dangerous goods management, equipment leasing and supplies, mentoring and personnel management for clients in the oil and gas, construction, power and energy, manufacturing, institutions and other industries.

Having bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management & Forestry from Michael Okpara University, Umudike, Dapo did not relent in the quest to widen his horizon. This has seen him bagged additional degrees and certificates from reputable institutions and professional bodies across the world.  These include a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and Safety and a Post Graduate Certificate in Industrial Hygiene Management from Columbia Southern University. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard School of Public Health USA; London School of Business Finance, UK and Lagos Business School, Nigeria.

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Professionally, he has obtained several certifications in Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management from NEBOSH and IOSH, amongst others.

In his words, “we saw a gap in the industry and we decided to strategically position ourselves not just to fill the gap but to contribute to the health, safety and welfare of Nigerian workers. We faced a lot of rejection in the first few years because some people thought we were just interested in collecting their money, but we kept pushing because it is a passion for us and it is part of our vision to ensure a safe society for all.

Therefore, in further pushing the campaign, in partnership with other like-minded professionals, we established an NGO in 2012 called the Safety Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation, which I am presently the National Coordinator. This became imperative in other to disabuse the minds of everyone we came in contact with, that the reason for our awareness was not basically for financial gains. This has helped us gain acceptance because we havebeen able to do a lot with the NGO.”

His ability to foresee and innovate for the future has been instrumental to the repositioning of the company in the ‘new normal’ occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. To Dapo, “one of the things that stands Hybrid Group out in the industry is continuous leadership through innovation. Given our exposure to the western world, we discovered there was emphasis on moving away from physical to virtual and we started the journey in 2019 by setting up an e-suite at our corporate head office to meet the training needs of the future. Hence, when the pandemic broke out, we were able to deliver training live from our office. This has also helped us to reach more people from different parts of the world. Indeed, our 2021 calendar has about 60 percent of our courses to be virtual online.”

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With presence and functional offices and training facilities in seven states in Nigeria, Omolade stressed that the company will continue to push frontiers in its expansion drive. “Our expansion drive has been rapid in the last five years. Recently, we moved into Dangerous Goods Management (DGM) in Nigeria and Ghana. We have also expanded our operations to cover safety equipment leasing which we were not doing five years ago and very soon, we will be going into certification and very many more safety businesses. However, we are not leaving what we are doing presently behind as we push the frontiers”, he said.

Omolade’s reputation in the HSE industry has earned him membership and executive positions in notable professional bodies among which is the IOSH West Africa for which he currently serves as West Africa Chairman, Lagos Zonal Coordinator of Oil & Gas Trainers Association (OGTAN), He was also instrumental to the establishment and development of the Lagos State Safety Commission. He is actively involved in coaching, mentorship and grooming the next generation of safety professionals for the industry and society at large.

“Axflo is synonymous to quality in oil spill management” – Dr. Donald Brown

Donald T. Brown, Managing Director/CEO, Axflo Oil & Gas Limited

Dr. Donald T. Brown, Managing Director/CEO, Axflo Oil & Gas Limited, is an initiator of several business ventures. He is a visionary business leader with a proven track record of business growth across sectors based on a deep understanding of customer engagement and a unique ability to leverage existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth.

An economist per excellence, Brown attended the University of Port Harcourt where he bagged his bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in Economics, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science from the University of Lagos. In addition, he has attended and benefited from many programmes organized by the Lagos Business School where he obtained the Advanced Management Programme Diploma. He was formerly a member of the institution’s Governing Council. Aside Axflo Oil & Gas Limited, he is also the CEO of Training Solutions Limited, Trenaissance Technologies Limited, and IT Solutions Limited.

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After several years’ experience in Banking and the Energy sectors, he started Axflo in 2009 as a player in the management of oil spills and waste management for the Oil and Gas Industry. Today, the company prides itself as one of Nigeria’s most equipped and experienced oil spill response contractors. With a wealth of experience spanning over 10 years, Axflo provides the right equipment, expertise and manpower for any Tier 1 or Tier 2 spills. This provision covers spills on land, swamp, shoreline, near-shore and offshore.

Speaking on how the journey has been with Axflo, Brown disclosed that the company has been able to achieve a breakthrough in the industry given the determination to compete in the face of challenges and the ability to deliver within a given period of time. According to him, “the industry is highly competitive and this means that you must match your price with quality. As a company, we work with brands that are trusted for quality equipment in the industry. This includes DESMI, Darcy Spillcare, Hi-Point and Ayles Fernie.”

“Our approach to achieve one feat at a time has helped us to go deep in the areas of providing emergency oil spill response and equipment leasing services, which has positioned us in a vantage position. We have top range offshore oil spill response equipment in-country which has been made possible through the collaborative effort with our foreign partners”, he informed.

Commenting on measures to control the occurrence of oil spills, Brown who seats on the board of a number of companies described the occurrence of oil spill as a dicey situation which some have seen as a money-making venture.

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He lamented that “Some host communities are not supportive of oil spill clean-up efforts in their communities. They see oil spills, response and service provision as a means of making money. When a service company mobilizes to respond to a spill site, they will request for money to be paid before the company is allowed to work. This frustrates the effort of the service providers. There is therefore the need for collaboration and synergy between the operating companies, clean up contractors and the host communities to promote a cleaner environment devoid of oil spills and conducive for human habitation.”

As an individual opened to acquisition of knowledge, Brown has a vast experience in Microsoft Visual Basic and he is presently a Microsoft Office User Specialist Authorized Instructor with expert level certifications in Microsoft Office productivity tools. He is passionate about seeing dreams fulfilled and does not hold back when opportunities beckon on him to give to the society. 

With several publications to his credit, he holds the membership of several professional bodies, namely: Nigerian Environmental Society, Nigerian Economic Society (NES), Nigerian Computer Society, the Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA).

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“Inconsistent govt policies, underfunding, bane of Nigerian Oil and Gas sector” – Onyetenu

Onochie Onyetenu, Co-Founder/President, Mafuta Energy Services Limited

Mr. Onochie Onyetenu, Co-Founder/President, Mafuta Energy Services Limited, has over 27 years combined world-class experience in tubular running services, business development, client account management, contracting, tender management, financing, procurement, agency management, sales, operations, personnel recruitment, risk analysis and project financing in the Oil and Gas Industry, majority of which were at various executive management levels.

Under his watch, Mafuta Energy has become of the key players in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry with the provision of specialized services which includes Tubular Running Service (TRS) with both conventional and top drive casing running systems (Volant CRTi); Completions tubing running, CRA and Carbon grade Tubulars; OCTG and accessories supply, hydro hammer services, cold cutting and beveling; well analysis as well as the supply of casing and cementing accessories from world-class OEMs such as Downhole which the company represents in Nigeria. Today, Mafuta Energy has been able to provide services to bigger corporations such as Shell (SPDC and SNEPCo), Lekoil, Eroton, Elcrest/NPDC, Chevron, Midwestern, OML26 AMT, NDPR, NAOC, AMNI, NPDC, First E&P, and Amni.

According to the alumnus of Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University), Ekpoma., who has attended several trainings at reputable institutions within and outside Nigeria such as the Harvard Extension School, PetroSKills and Intertek, amongst others, Mafuta Energy has been able to leverage on technology in tackling challenges faced by its clients while also ensuring the safety of her workforce.

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He maintained that the company’s mission is always “to strive to serve its clients with humility and provide breakthrough industry technology in a safest and secure manner. We are a technology-driven company that believes in change and technological innovations. 

Tubular running is one service that has received very little technological changes over the past few decades and to help our clients with a safer and more cost-effective solution, we introduced the Top Drive Casing Running Systems from Volant Canada into the Nigerian Market. It’s a huge investment but we believe it is the best for safety and efficiency. It took a while to be accepted, but has now recorded consistent successful performances and deployments.

As an indigenous company, we a fully committed to the local content initiative and this has helped us in our rating in the industry. Building local capacity, getting technology transferred, working with local service partners/vendors in our value chain, investing, and staying the course are some of our contributions to local content.”

Commenting on challenges faced in the industry, Onyetenu applauded the NCDMB for supporting the indigenous firms but harped on government policies, volatility of oil price, lack of funding and social issues as some of the major issued being faced in the industry. 

He also lamented the delay in payment to service providers, “most payments in the industry are at 30-90 days after submission of invoices under normal circumstances, but now it has extended to 180 days and more. These time frame increases the interest funding for projects financed via bank funding. The industry players- IOCs, NOCs, Marginals with service companies need to have a roundtable discussion to see how these time frame can be reduced to save service providers”, he advised.

Nevertheless, he commended how the Nigerian oil and gas industry has evolved. A lot of things that seemed impossible to be done by Nigerians are now being done locally. However, instability in the exchange rate, policy changes sometimes linked to change in political leadership, government underfunding, as well as social issues bothering on pipeline vandalism and corruption have minimized the attractiveness of the industry to more investors.

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For instance, we have been on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) for 12 years, and the effect of an impending change slowed down investments in capital projects and expenditures. It is my hope we get this sorted and a new landscape is set for us all.”.

Onyetenu expressed worry over lack of funding which has limited the participation of indigenous players in some major projects, thereby clearing the way for IOCs to take up such opportunities.

HAKEEM SHAGAYA:  Distinguished By Innovativeness And Competence

Hakeem Shagaya

Hard work can be painful to those CEOs whose managerial engagements are devoid of purpose, but for Hakeem Shagaya, hard work is a major tool which has driven his innovative ideas and diligence into international reckoning. The thorough bred Chief Executive of Karmod Nigeria was groomed and refined in the revered halls of some of the best schools around the world, and through Karmod, he brings competence and capacity to the real estate and construction sector in Nigeria.

 Distinguished by his innovativeness and sustained by his competence and integrity, he established Karmod in 2014 out of his passion and desire to simplify construction through the application of world class technology in Nigeria. According to him ” This company was set up to provide unique solutions that could take care of the challenges he noticed in the real estate and construction sector in Nigeria. According to this young and dynamic Entrepreneur, ”I felt the way real estate was done in Nigeria was complex and expensive. I did my research and realized that we could provide solutions through the provision of world class fabricated container homes and office space for variety sectors in Nigeria.”

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Working in line with his CEO’s vision and a strong corporate governance, Karmod Nigeria has successfully delivered hundreds of spectacular prefabricated building construction projects to some of the most popular brands as well as government institutions both State and Federal levels in Nigeria. Speaking on the corporate values that have driven the company’s growth, he said ” Professionalism is key and adherence to ISO standards has been at the top of what we do. While we are focused on providing affordable solutions, quality is very important to us. Our affiliation to one of the world class companies in Turkey has also helped to structure our operations.”

 Asked about how he has managed to navigate the company through the turbulent time of COVID-19 , he responded: ” Apart from cutting cost, we reviewed our operational strategy.  As a company that has continued to re-innovate, we have taken advantage of the opportunity that comes out of this challenging covid-19 period to expand our product mix. We have entered into the medical space by providing prefabricated labs and isolation centers across the country for NCDC and WHO. We have leveraged on technology to become more cost effective and time saving in our operations.”

 Proud of what Karmod Nigeria has achieved, the Hakeem Shagaya led diverse team of competent professionals are restructuring the company and preparing it to provide better solutions in Nigeria and beyond.

 “We have provided fabricated containers and cabins for Camps, Homes and Offices over the years and we want to continue to dominate that market, but the market is not as big as it should be. So we have decided to go into the provision of affordable housing. Last year, IFC made us one of the ambassadors for their health green building certification. We want to become a net manufacturer and supplier of affordable houses to the real estate market. We have plans on building our factory that has a cement board plant, steel rolling plant among others. Once this is achieved, we plan to go public .”

 Apart from providing world-class prefabricated facilities, Karmod Nigeria has continued to positively touch lives of many Nigerians through its numerous CSR engagements.

ENGR. BOMA FEMI JULIUS: People-oriented Leader, Creating Opportunities In Oil And Gas  For Nigerians

Engr. Boma Femi Julius’

With a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, an MSc Drilling and Well Engineering at Robert Gordon University (in view), and several trainings in Drilling Practice, Primary Cementing, Cementing II and Well Control at renowned institutes in the USA, Engr. Boma Femi Julius’ experience in the Oil Industry cuts across the African continent and the Middle East.

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Having worked with Baker Hughes, Schlumberger Gabon, M.I–Swaco, Sterling Global Oil Resources (Geo Mud), Globat Mud School, and Geo-Fluids Limited, he established  Globat Oil and Gas Skills, a registered and certified training school with a target to become the industry-king in oil and gas training using process quality and excellence in business execution.

In his view as a CEO concerning the opportunities and challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Julius saidFriction is not static. COVID brought about new market friction. The year 2020 took everyone by surprise – we had many moments of sadness and had to innovate on the go. Amidst all of the pain, we also quickly adapted to new realities, especially paying more attention and developing our business’ virtual arm. The year 2020 showed us how easy it was to reach a global audience from any location. Discovering this helped us get new audiences, networks, and collaborations on different levels, so we have scaled and improved our services to align.”

He excplained that “Globatskills was created to re-align the disequilibrium in lack of skills by graduates seeking oil and gas jobs and subsequently fixing that problem. We are open to partnership with the universities to provide oil and gas skills training to students even before they graduate. If we can achieve that, half of the problem is solved.”

Concerning his experience an the development in the industry, Julius said “Nigerians in the oil industry are doing great but acquiring the necessary skill set is a  major challenge faced by some Nigerians and the truth is that, most of these people don’t have the resources to go abroad for training and this is where we come in. I can confidently say we have taken the industry leadership by separating ourselves from others through the accumulation of capability by simply equipping our facility with the help of our partners Drillcem of U.K.” 

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He added that “We have partnered with a formidable team of experienced world-class instructors and international consultants who are still actively involved in the oil industry. These are individuals who have worked in various oilfields around the world, and we also have access to high-quality content and course materials with references from companies such as Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Halliburton. 

In his submission,. the Globatskills boss said the students in the institute “are exposed to world-class industry best practices in theory, laboratory practicals and rig experience. Globatskills is designed to enable the students to have a foreknowledge of what to face in real-life situations. With our package, anyone who has passed through Globat can measure equally with their foreign counterparts.”

“Domestication of the Oil and Gas Industry will further promote active local participation” – Egbe

Engr. Pringle Egbe is an innovative business executive who has distinguished himself within and outside his professional circle. With over 12 years of experience across Europe and West Africa, he has continued to push the frontier as an oil and gas computing engineer. This has become evident in the quality of services rendered at PEGIS Global Services Limited where he serves as the managing director and CEO.

Over the years, he has become an authority in data analytics, big data system, software development, database management, software testing, documentation, design, and software law. He is also very competent in the areas of well completion design, well test design, well intervention, well test interpretation and well performance optimization.

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He bagged a first degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Port Harcourt, which was followed by a master degree in Oil and Gas Computing from Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, United Kingdom, as well as an Innovation Diploma in Petroleum Geoscience from Laser Geoscience School. As a major facilitator of MS Excel for petroleum engineers, (a short course series organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Council), Egbe has helped industry professionals and students gain in-depth knowledge on how to use Excel as a dynamic and powerful analytics tool, and has also developed industry specific training programs for individuals, private groups, and businesses across the country.

On how the journey has been with PEGIS Global, the purpose-driven CEO, explained that his ability to diversify as a CEO, building a strong network and the tenacity to beat the odds in the face of uncertainty has helped the company gain industry recognition.

“Through the course of my career, I have made conscious efforts to constantly diversify my knowledge, skills and experience and this in many ways has helped me stay innovative. The network of people I have had the privilege of meeting has helped me to gain adequate knowledge and experience to guide me through the course of my career. Lastly, I focus on beating the odds by always having a plan in the face of uncertainty and to reduce this uncertainty, I focus on options with an innovative business case informed by an agile flow-to-work model”, he said.

He further explained that the company has been able to carve a niche for itself in the oil and gas industry in term of quality and timely service delivery given its priority for clients’ satisfaction. “We pride ourselves in the quality of the service we deliver and the level of detail that goes into any project we embark on. We have contributed a great deal to the local content initiative by ensuring that our workforce is made up of 100% Nigerians and through the unbundling of large contracts, we have been able to create opportunities for smaller local suppliers. We also make sole sourcing arrangements with local suppliers and at times we sub-contract locally or enter Joint Venture agreements with them. We are also recognized for providing technical, management training and mentoring to Nigerian professionals in the energy industry. Our services includes, wellhead maintenance, slickline and wireline services, well completions services, instrumentation and control, corrosion and facility inspection, fabrication and facility maintenance, engineering procurement, training and consultancy as well as marine services”, he added.

According to him, one of the major challenges faced in the industry is the inadequate domestication (not nationalization) of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria towards promoting active local participation in the petroleum and gas business, not only in terms of human resources at the upper management and technical staff level, but material resources in terms of internalizing a significant portion of inputs in upstream operations.

He further added that the relative cost of unit production is another challenge faced in the industry as a result of gross inefficiencies in upstream processes as well as bottlenecks created by government bodies and regulatory agencies. “This can be mitigated by improving process efficiency (low cost, maximum production) and implementing favourable regulations such as the Petroleum Industry Bill. Also, the lack of industry investment is a pertinent challenge due to some settings which both economically and politically repel foreign and local investors. I believe the government should provide a stable macro-economic and political setting to support industry growth and investment”, he advised.

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A recipient of the SPE International Young Member outstanding service award in 2017, Egbe is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Engineering Management at the University of Port Harcourt. He is an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers having served in various board positions in SPE Section 103 Port Harcourt and SPE Nigeria council. He is also an industry lecturer at the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), University of Port Harcourt and the Center for Excellence, University of Benin.

“The will to succeed and be recognized globally for my success in the industry, likewise the passion to help others succeed has been a motivating factor for my career. This has also influenced our success as an organization and the ultimate goal is to see PEGIS Global Services Limited at a point where it will be recognized as a leading player in the energy industry both in Africa and beyond”, he added.

Why CWG remains the powerhouse behind African businesses by Adeyipo

Adewale Adeyipo CEOof CWG PLC

Adewale Adeyipo is a proficient, technology enthusiast, and Business Executive with extensive experience in Strategy, Management, and Leadership. He is the Group CEO, CWG PLC – a leading ICT conglomerate with headquarters in Lagos and operations in 3 other Africa countries. 

Wale has earned a reputation as a truly accomplished and highly respected professional within the sub-Saharan region, given his diverse experience and the application of technology, as an enabler for business success and expansion. In 2014, he led the CWG PLC PAN Africa Initiatives (PAI). The PAI was a brainchild, set to produce CWG’s strategic delivery partnerships and business expansion in 23 Africa operations.

Apart from holding a B. Sc in Computer Science from the University of Ilorin, he is an Alumnus of several Institutions, with extensive study in Management and Leadership in notable institutions, including Lagos Business School, Business School, Netherlands, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and London Business School. Wale brings to live the practical knowledge in dynamic work design to simplify the rigorous processes and procedures in the workplace, bringing about the required efficiency and productivity.

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He is a Member and Fellow of several organizations, including the Institute of Directors, Nigeria Computer Society, Nigeria Institute of Management, Institute of Management Consultant.  

Certainly, Wale has brought his wealth of experience into transforming CWG PLC into a Pan-African IT company which specializes in a wide-array of IT services including: Communications and Integrated Equipment, Managed and Support Service Segments, and Software. Mission to deploy technology that engenders growth.

This is in line with the company’s vision to become the preferred IT platforms services provider out of Africa incorporating the values of Professionalism, Candor and Openness, Respect for Commitment, Innovation, Excellence, Team Spirit in its operations.

In 2016, Deloitte worked with CWG PLC to build an ecosystem of Service Providers in Sub-Saharan Africa under its PAN Africa Initiative – to help its numerous clients in addressing the challenges in the new converged arena and to help service providers to provide the best of the breed services for their subscribers.  And, in 2018, CWG reorganized its services business under the CWG Support hub to consolidate various support services and strengthen its PAN Africa support.

Today, the company provides resources for level 1-4 Management across all the countries and partners with IT Services organizations to deliver level 1 & 2 resources in-country in other Africa countries

In order to continuously and effectively drive value services to it numerous customers, CWG signed-on to Gartner consulting services in 2019 to equip CWG with insights delivered directly by experienced advisors and informed by an unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research.

To fulfill its Africa Growth organization award by the World Economic Forum, CWG engaged PWC not only as its internal auditor but consultant on People and Process optimization, innovation advisory. CWG’s Business Quality ISO Certification Standards include: 

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ISO 9000 for Standard business processes and procedures; Enhanced customer satisfaction by meeting customer requirement; Desired business outcomes; ISO 27001 for Minimized IT security risk exposure;100% regulatory compliance; Business competitive advantage; and ISO 22301 for Effective business continuity management; Optimal client delivery level; 100% recoverability of key business services

CWG is supporting over 2 million digital customers, powering over 4 million digital accounts, with over 220 million yearly transactions across 20 countries.

 

“Kingpost Nigeria Limited -Pioneering the first-of-its-kind, high-tech Wood processing factory in Nigeria” – Agboola

Kayode Agboola, CEO of Kingpost Nigeria Limited

Established by Kayode Agboola, Kingpost Nigeria Limited is a wood processing and furniture manufacturing company managed by accomplished professionals. 

The company manufactures world class doors, wardrobes, kitchen cabinets and other furniture available locally at affordable prices. It specializes in: Production of world-class Doors, Kitchen Cabinets, Wardrobes, and furniture for homes, offices, hotels and other public buildings. The company also specializes in Timber processing for local and foreign furniture manufacturers.

With an objective to make world-class furniture available locally at reasonable global competitive prices, thereby reducing foreign exchange losses to importation of furniture, Kingpost Limited employs cutting-edge production techniques and state-of-the-art machinery coupled with experienced and proficient team of engineers for the production of high quality furniture in a modern wood processing factory. Kingpost’s core values are: Excellence, Integrity, Professionalism, Character and Team Spirit.

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Hence, knowing that mental creation precedes physical creation in terms of aesthetics and functionality; the company’s products are designed and developed with computer aided design (CAD) software before they are passed for production. All wooden materials used for production undergo painstaking quality checks, after they have been treated and kiln dried in order to guarantee durability and effective service life performance. 

“Timber constitutes 70% of the raw material we use for our product, it is sourced locally and properly kiln dried to 10% moisture content before it is used. Our quality control management technique focuses on zero-defect production system which enables us to attain first class finishing that matches finishing standard anywhere in the world. We are set up to pioneer the first-of-its-kind high-tech wood processing factory in Nigeria. Accordingly, we have significantly taken advantage of advanced wood-work technology to further enhance our product quality, ensure cost-effectiveness and production efficiency in order to create a robust, world-class and best-in-practice furniture manufacturing company that produces international quality products at affordable prices”.

The company’s vision is to be a major player in furniture manufacturing industry, producing high quality, durable and affordable furniture products of world-class standard for Africa and the global market. While its mission is to break new ground in wood technology for national economic growth and nation building.

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ADEKUNLE ISAREL IBRAHIM: Resourceful, Consistent With a Mission to Empower Nigerian Youths

Mr. Adekunle Isarel Ibrahim, Managing Director/CEO, Evermark Homes & Properties Ltd

The Holy scriptures captures it well by saying the battle is not for the strong neither the race for the swift but time and chance happeneth to them all. Such is the case of Mr. Adekunle Isarel Ibrahim, Managing Director/CEO, Evermark Homes & Properties Ltd. A man not born with silver spoon but made his way to the top by grace, faith and hardwork. 

When asked he stated, I have been in business right from my early days in school and after graduation while waiting for service I joined the real estate business through a senior friend who mentored me and exposed the intricacies of real estate to me. I was in tutelage for several months and after almost a year my big break came. Through commissions and stipend I was able to float my outfit which is Evermark homes and properties which has become and household name in the industry.

In 3 years, we have made speedy waves in the industry and turned things around. At ever mark we put our clients first. Consistency and timely delivery define us.

In the last few years, we have been able to deliver over 5,000 affordable, accessible housing units to people of all classes. Our own way of mitigating and narrowing down the housing deficit in Nigeria. Evermark Homes & Properties is on a mission to train and empower Nigerian youths, this we have also succeeded at, in 2020 alone we have trained and empowered more than 1,000 youths in Real Estate. We chose to do this since Empowerment is the best form of opportunity that can be given to anyone.

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As an under 30 CEOs, I never found it easy as I thought initially but through hard work, commitment, integrity, and trust we are at the top today.

My advice to startups in the industry is that they learn to be humble, patient at whatever they do, follow their passion, submissive, willing to learn from others and stay faithful. Success has its own price. I have paid my dues during my tutelage.

Our brand is already a household name because it is known abroad, Nigerians in diaspora are buying from us and we always keep to our promise. We have several estate brands. Our projects are 85% completed, some have been completed and sold off such as Sky Berry & Sky City Estates Epe still selling, Lekki, Ever City Mowe/Ibafo are sold out with other ongoing projects in Epe and its environs our most recently launched estate is The Beachview Estate, Eleko.

COVID-19 Affected all business types including Real Estate the prices of building materials increased by 40% which is not an excuse in delivering our promises to our clients by the grace of God we are still consistent. The £End Sars£ protest affected us but I see it as a revolution for Nigeria. Our Services include: Property Development; Property Investment; Property Management; Real Estate Marketing; Real Estate Procurement; Advisory and Joint Ventures.

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