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Local expansion, global ability

Article - December 12, 2012
With an international background which had seen him work in 12 countries, Emeka Okwuosa was well-placed to see the broader picture when it came to setting up a company in Nigeria's oil and gas industry

Oilserv, now the country’s leading oil and gas service company, has overseen sustained growth as it proved that local companies could provide the highest of standards for both Nigerian and multi-national operators in the country.

The firm can now handle up to ten projects at a time, ranging from the construction of a 128km pipeline across southern Nigeria to a 24-inch, 24km gas delivery flowline and a gas delivery system in Osisioma. An arm of Oilserv has been set up in Sierra Leone, while further plans to move into Ghana have been proposed, and Mr Okwuosa, a former electrical engineering graduate, is keen to ensure Oilserv – and Nigeria as a whole – is able to provide high quality services.

“Our intention is to move into Ghana, be able to pick up some franchises in oil and gas delivery and its processes, with emphasis on delivering pipelines,” says Mr Okwuosa. “We also want to grow into power delivery and plants in Nigeria, as well as being able to offer our services in Ghana, Sierra Leone and possibly Equatorial Guinea.”

But he admits that attracting investment into the industry is still a major obstacle, and one in which all parties have a part to play.

“I worked internationally before returning to Nigeria and I understand how things work all over the world. Most people think Nigeria is a high-risk place, and usually the conditions they offer are such that you cannot accept; they are skewed in a way as to reflect the mind-set. However that does not mean it is not possible.”

And regulatory changes, such as the 1 per cent levy on contracts which goes towards a development fund for investment, must also ensure the sector offers the correct range of services to both local and international organisations.

With Oilserv well-placed to continue its expansion, Mr Okwuosa is confident the sector as a whole can find new avenues for growth – while ensuring the standard of its service remains on internationally sound footing.