Chairman/CEO of Lead Ultimate Resources Limited and Perfect Works Integrated Services Limited, Prince Blessing Omogbemi spoke on how Chevron Nigeria Ltd, has helped in building the capacities of several indigenous companies that now provide complex services for the oil and gas sector. Chika Amanze-Nwachuku presents the excerpts:
Would you tell us more about your company and the kind of services you provide for the oil and gas industry?
Lead Ultimate Resources Limited is registered and incorporated in Nigeria to provide engineering and allied services for the Oil and Gas industry. The company is a multi-faceted company. We provide services to our clients in the oil and gas industry through the use of modern technology and innovative engineering process. For instance, the oil and gas industry used to be comfortable with conventional insulation with rockwool, refractory materials, claddings, strapping, etc. This method is expensive and has some corrosion challenges. With the use of Thermal Insulation Coating method, Lead Ultimate was able to eradicate ‘corrosion under insulation’ as well as reduce the cost of installation and maintenance. The company also services the industry with corrosion control services.
How do you interact with Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) in your business and how has this affected your company’s activities?
Chevron Nigeria Limited is a huge company committed to giving opportunities to entrepreneurs with the right attitude, capacity and the zeal for excellence. Our interaction with Chevron has been very useful in making us to provide top of the notch services to Chevron and others.
Chevron prides itself as a pioneer in consistently supporting the growth and human capacity development of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), especially the community-based businesses. How would you assess such position?
Chevron’s support to small and medium business in Nigeria is tremendous. Chevron- through its programmes and interventions has positively touched local communities especially those in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. The company’s social investments, corporate responsibility initiatives in the Niger Delta area have reduced poverty and unemployment.
For instance, the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), which was established by Chevron to help reduce poverty and promote peace in the Niger Delta region, has been fulfilling its mandate. PIND achieves this by pulling in resources from diverse range of stakeholders – both public and private – to help tackle the region’s development needs. Through PIND, many women and youths acquired skills and got start-up packs and grants to start businesses in agriculture, commerce and so on. Worthy of note is the point that these people who were without any means of livelihood can now take care of themselves and their families through the assistance of PIND.
What is your evaluation of CNL’s contribution to Local Community Content and Nigerian Content Development?
Chevron is doing well in terms of empowerment and capacity building of local communities. When I look at the EGTL project, I see a company that opened a huge door of opportunities to LCCs and as at today, some of those LCCs are still waxing stronger and stronger in service delivery to CNL, other IOCs and other business organisations. The PGPA channel from Chevron also has to be commended due to the nominations they set aside for LCCs both in offshore and onshore service delivery contracts.
How has your interaction with Chevron helped you in diversifying your business and empowering other people?
Chevron Nigeria Limited is a huge company that gives opportunities to people that have the right attitude and are professional, innovative, creative and most especially, the zeal for excellence, etc. This attitude and the craving for excellence have helped my companies to diversify to other business sectors. In the oil and gas industry, I started with Gibles Nigeria Limited. We handled blasting and painting during the EGTL project. Today we have Lead Ultimate Resources Ltd which is into Thermal Insulation, Research and Development. The company has completed a facility to be used in collaboration with foreign partners for paints production. This will reduce the importation of paints. We provide composite cables such electrical, optical and hybrid subsea underwater cables.
We have also diversified into the agriculture through our affiliate company- Perfect Works Integrated Services Ltd) and have completed a facility for a 100ton/month capacity chicken processing plant in Okitipupa, Ondo State. The facility will commence operation in January 2019. In partnership with the NCDMB, we plan to train and empower 120 farmers (outgrowers) to raise chicken for the plant. Plans are on-going to engage NCDMB towards training farmers across the Niger Delta in chicken layers farming.
What is your view on the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act generally by the IOCs?
The implementation of the Nigerian Content by the IOCs is good when it comes to empowerment and capacity building. Initially, almost all service contracts were given to foreign companies, but that is no longer the situation as many of the jobs previously handled by the foreign experts are now handled in-country by indigenous service providers. Many of the Nigerian service providers have upped and skills and competency are doing great. Chevron gave opportunities to more than 1000 local suppliers and over 70 service companies in the EGTL project and projects. In fact, many of the local companies who worked in the EGTL project are still providing services for CNL. For me, CNL is among the top IOCs in the implementation of the Nigerian Content and I recommend other IOCs to emulate same.
What are your comments on the impact of government policies on NCD/LCC development?
The Nigerian Content (NC) Act and the establishment of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have made it mandatory for IOCs to comply with Nigerian Content requirements. This singular policy has helped towards creating a perfect roadmap for the growth of in-country capacities thereby increasing participation of indigenous companies in the oil and gas industry.
What advice do you have for other SMEs?
I will advise the SMEs to develop good attitude, professionalism, innovativeness, creativity, positive potentials, integrity and most especially, the zeal for excellence.