(GPPS: A Local content success story)
Engr. Obidike Nelkon Uzu CEO, Global Process & Pipeline Services Limited (GPPS), has more than 26year’s oil field experience in drilling operation (Sedco Forex), production technology (SPDC) and Process and Pipeline Service (B.J Services) and supervised many successfully projects in Nigeria, America and Uk. In an interview with Frank Uzuegbunam, Editor, West Africa Energy, he talks about process and pipeline industry, Nigerian content amongst other issues. Excerpts:
Can you tell us briefly about Global Pipeline Service Limited (GPPS) and its critical success factor?
Global Process and Pipeline Service Ltd (GPPS) was formed in 2002 but commenced operation 2010 as a specialist company built on professionalism for quality service delivery in process and pipeline pre-commissioning, commissioning, maintenance and project management service to the pipeline industry. Our critical success factors include massive in house capacity in terms of fit for purpose equipment; competent, dedicated and resilient workforce; extremely commendable track record and unbroken focus in her core areas of competency and robust management style that is tied to strict ethical standard adherence.
GPPS currently has the largest in-country pumping and equipment capacity in the focused product service line in Nigeria.
What will you say are the achievements since the take-off of the company?
We have achieved rapid growth to become among the 10 top fastest growing company in (Africa Business Review report). GPPS is the only fully Nigerian Process and Pipeline Company, with major projects completed in the deep water applications in her product services line and we are proud to say that we own the largest fleet of resources in Nigeria for our line of business. We have become a name in the pre-commissioning and pumping industry with numerous awards. More importantly, we have ramped up our safety and quality operating delivery to the admiration of our clients.
How would you assess process and pipeline services as it concerns competence and capabilities of local companies in Nigeria?
There is very scarce depth of competence and capacities of local companies in Nigeria for this product service line. However, GPPS has differentiated herself on this with her top-down exceptionally competent management team.
GPPS has attracted the best hands in the industry from multinational firms to work for her. Competence level is very high with unrivalled capabilities with other local companies. We have also established a continuous learning and competency program for the development capacity enhancement. We have been sending our employees abroad for cross training and leadership development to sustain our market position in the industry. More importantly, we are increasingly becoming the resource base (equipment and people) for this product service line in the Nigeria market.
Safety and Environment can be described as the most critical aspects of your operations. How do you maintain global best practices in your HSE operations?
Our top-down approach to Health Safety and Environment fosters a company-wide “safety first” attitude. To us in GPPS, Safety is very body’s business. We have encouraged improvement to ensure HSE standards and adopt global best practices as part of our operations. Our operating standards are based on international standards (ISO, SON etc) and industry best practice. This has ensured we continuously deliver high quality customer satisfaction. We have also encouraged our workers to own and adopt high safety awareness and be very conscious of the environment.
Is it safe to say that Global Process & Pipeline Service limited (GPPS) is a product of Nigerian Content initiative?
Absolutely, we are proudly Nigerian Content Initiative. The leading Nigeria Company operating on international standards and industry best practice in her product service line. This is a brand that should be promoted in other parts of the world.
What do you think should be done to deepen local content adoption in the country?
No doubt, we have made progress with the Nigeria Content initiative but we can do more. For Nigeria to deepen local content in the Oil and gas sector, we should first and foremost strive to increase participation of capable local companies in the sector. The first step is monitoring and assessing performance of the local companies. There should also be mechanism for demanding feedbacks from the operators on the performance of the local companies’ post-work completion. There should be an incentive to encourage and drive technology transfer from International Oil Companies (IOCs) to local companies. Finally, we should establish a transparent template of already achieved verifiable in- country competency database which will form the base to subject IOCs to use them.
There are accusations that most IOCs operating in Nigeria devise various means to evade complying with the Nigerian Content Act?
Having been employed by IOCs, multinational service company and now as a service provider, I can frankly tell you that IOCs are happy to patronize competent and reliable local companies once they are sure the local companies will deliver at acceptable ethical, safety and quality standards.
ExxonMobil, have supported us origin with training, positive feedback and huge patronage which catapulted our growth to this enviable capacity which we have achieved and delivering good services to Total E&P and SENPCO.
However, we have been denied couple of times work that we won ahead of our multinational competitors. In one of the cases, we were told that it is not possible for a local company to score higher in technical than a multinational service provider, which we did.
Some operators are afraid of insurance liability and escalated project cost that may arise if the said local company could not deliver as required but really, some local companies just want to be agents without capacity, thereby becoming platform for the IOC’s to use in ensuring they get all that they want from international companies.
Five years from now where do you see Global Process Pipeline Services (GPPS)?
I see GPPS brand spreading into other countries. No doubt GPPS would become the obvious market leader in her product service line in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. Five years from now, GPPS would have expanded her foot-print and geography into other West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Definitely, by then, GPPS would double her current revenue base with massive ramp-up on operational deliverability and efficiency.