Local content has helped us sustain our business – Taiwo Abiodun

When in March 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Nigerian Local Content Act, it was aimed at giving Nigerians more stake in the sector. Blueprint caught up with Taiwo Abiodun, General Manager, Sales of Global Process Pipeline Services Limited, an indigenous oil servicing firm, at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) holding in Abuja, He told our correspondent, BENJAMIN UMUTEME, that local oil firms have benefited from the law. Excerpts!

Tell us about GPPS and how the company has been about to cope in this very competitive industry?

Global Process and Pipeline Limited Limited, is a Nigerian oil servicing company that has built up an impressive record of establishment over the years. We have worked with international oil companies operating in Nigeria where they have these assets and where we have also come in to make sure that we deliver what they have promised to deliver, in terms of what they do as international companies. We enhance the production of all their products and deliver the right services to them.

So, we are one of the leading commissioning companies in Nigeria, and to say we have also demonstrated all our professionalism. Ee have demonstrated our reliability, and we have dealt with a lot of multinational companies in the last eleven years in Nigeria. We’ve also moved from working onshore to offshore, and now our services in the country are deep offshore. We have worked with the likes of Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total, Agip, just to mention a few. We are not into construction, we are not into installation, but what we do for them is to enhance their production facility for them through pipeline pre-commissioning, pipeline cleaning, flooding, gauging, pipeline dewatering and drying, facility maintenance and a lot of tank cleaning. We are fully a Nigerian company from the top management to the entire staff. The company was formed by about 5 professionals, who came together to set up this company in Nigeria. So far, so good, we’re added value to a lot of our customers and what you see here is the dividend of professionalism through safety demonstration of what we actually said we can do interns of supporting all the IOCs in Nigeria to deliver their assets requirements as well.

Talking about being a ‘fully Nigerian’ company, the local content law, how is it playing out in the industry?

Like I mentioned earlier, we have been a beneficiary of the local content policy in Nigeria so far. I have had the experience of working in a multinational and I know how it is to work in a multinational. But with the advent of the local content act in 2010, we have been able to fully swing into action by taking advantage of these because today, as a Nigerian company, we can put our money where our mouth is. A lot of the multinationals who have been competing with us, due to the local content, have been able to show what we can do as a Nigerian company and compete. We have the technical competence, we have the capability, we have the capacity; and these are the three core requirements as a local company in Nigeria. First, competency, capacity and capability, is a critical element in this organisation today, and we have demonstrated these three. That is why we are able to compete with the multinationals that work in our own space. Today, ahead of these multinationals, GPPS is number one. We have been able to show that severally, and today, a lot of these multinationals have left Nigeria for us because we have taken over the market. We have not only taken over the market, but we showed by our professionalism that we can do it. We invested in critical resources that can sustain our business in Nigeria. Sustainability is key for us in Nigeria. Today, undoubtedly, we are claiming that space and local content has really helped us to sustain our business in Nigeria.

Talking about this summit which is all about gas, do you think Nigeria is ready to tap into the vast potentials of hold in term of revenue generation?

Nigeria has a lot of abundant resources, and gas is one of them. If you look at the topic of the Summit “From crisis to opportunity, what is the future of hydrocarbons”, what do we really mean by hydrocarbon? There is a lot of hydrocarbon? There is a lot of abundance of gas in country and what we are trying to do as a servicing company to all our clients is to see how we can also improve the production of hydrocarbons from what it is. Presently, Nigeria is generating a certain percentage of gas but you can also see that with what is happening, what we are suffering, about insecurity, what we are suffering about all the issues that affect crude and all that, the future is basically inherent in gas production. And how can that happen? You will also agree with me that a lot of Nigerian companies have been given license to do a whole lot of local refineries just to support what the national companies are also doing. Why, because renewable energy is the future of the world globally. Everybody needs gas! Gas is life now! For us to even have light here, we need gas.

So, we need to pull our forces together to make sure that there is a high level of improved production of hydrocarbons in Nigeria through our collaboration working with the right stakeholders and make sure that we deliver what we can do. We have the resources, we have the technology, we have the capability in Nigeria. What is lacking is that collaboration. If everybody, all IOCs, all technical persons came together to say “hey, let us give it a try, let us take it over”, in the next ten years, there will be less of crude and there is going to be more of gas because everywhere the talk is about renewable. Just last week, Total changed from Total Exploration Nigeria to Total Energies. Now, Total is already thinking of a 10-20 years plan into renewable energy. What do you need to drive renewable energy? You need gas, you need hydrocarbons to drive it. And that is probably going to be the future everybody wants to hear.