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GGI International success story

INTERVIEW

Sound biz principles made GGI one-stop shop for drilling chemicals

...NOGICD Act has changed the face of oil and gas business

Dr Innocent Akuvue is the Chairman, CEO, GGI International Nigeria Limited, an indigenous company that blends and produces chemicals in-country and handles oil treatment, among other services. In this interview with Peace Obi on the sideline of 2019 Nigerian Oil and

Gas Opportunity Fair in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Akuvue said that NOGICD Act has changed the dynamics of oil and gas business in Nigeria and that GGI is well of today with strong business principles. According to him, with the enabling law, and leveraging on government’s support programmes, companies that have their act together, won’t necessarily find funding as their major challenge, among other sundry issues.

Dr. Innocent Akuvue CEO GGI International Nig Ltd

Let’s get to know you and the activities of your company. My name is Dr Innocent Akuvue, Chairman, CEO, GGI International Nigeria Limited. I am an engineer by profession. GGI is a Nigerian company but an international company by practice. We are into oil treatment and services. We blend and produce chemicals in-country; we also import a variety of treatment chemicals. Presently, we work with such companies like Baker Hughes GE and some others in commodity chemicals. We were incorporated in 1991 but we effectively started business in 1996.

What was business like before the advent of the NOGICD Act and how has it impacted your business? It was predominantly importation. But today, it is a different story as the Act has reshaped business activities in the nation’s oil and gas industry. Also, through NCDMB it empowers

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INTERVIEW

and encourages local production and value retention in-country. For example, on the 9th and 10th April, we will be exhibiting in a programme organised by Agip in Abuja which is mainly for promoting research and development of in-country products and services. So, we will be there and that’s what the NOGICD Act has enabled to happen in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Nigerian businesses are beginning to think home and many of us are deeply committed to research towards sourcing materials that could be used for production in-country.

The Act has impacted our business very positively because it has helped us to build in-country capacities. For most indigenous companies, it ushered us into a new era of total reorientation in what we do. For GGI, our efforts are directed on how much chemicals we can blend or produce in-country. So, I can say that the NOGICD Act has changed the dynamics in the way businesses are done in Nigeria especially in oil and gas.

Lack of funding has always been blamed for indigenous companies’ inability to build adequate and strategic capabilities as well as take up available opportunities in the Nigeria oil and gas industry, is it any different with GGI?

I want to say that there is no company that wouldn’t build capacity because of lack of finances. I say this because I am aware of different programmes designed by the government which are aimed at strengthening indigenous companies’ active participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry. Also, if you have the right concept, the banks are there, the NCDMB is also partnering with the Bank of Industry to make funds available at a reasonable interest rate.

Also, the essence of a conference and exhibition like this is for us to hear more of what could be done just like the second technical session – finance and investment addressed. Here, you will be able to discover different solutions available for your funding need and garner knowledge from a whole lot of quality information that is put out at participants’ disposal during the event.

Just like Ms Nike Kolawole told attendees how a particular contractor won a contract and couldn’t fund the project eventually sourced funds from foreign firms and some Nigerian banks. And I think funding is not necessarily an issue now, rather, it is your business model. If you are able to think right and put your paperwork right and the banks are convinced that you have a good project, then they will deal with it.

What is the perception of your product and

The challenges have always been building capacities as we mentioned earlier and of course, a typical Nigerian businessman will start by doing everything and along the line, it begins to cut a niche. So, raising fund was an issue before but then, we realised that we were the one holding ourselves because we were not making the right contacts.

services in the country?

We are well accepted and recognised in the sector. If you look over there, you will see that we are not just doing things but that we are doing things based on standards. Our company is ISO 9001 certified which is quality management. We are environmentally 14001 and in safety, we are also 18001. So, our products are perceived as one of the best anywhere in the world.

Before attaining your present height, what are some of the challenges you faced?

The challenges have always been building capacities as we mentioned earlier and of course, a typical Nigerian businessman will start by doing everything and along the line, it begins to cut a niche. So, raising fund was an issue before but then, we realised that we were the one holding ourselves because we were not making the right contacts. When we started making the right contacts and knowing what to do, those initial challenges gave way.

Where do you see GGI in the next five years, are you planning to go into E&P soonest?

In the next five years, GGI would have grown into a much specialised company in the upstream sector, treatment and applications. Anyway, we are not overly ambitious so, we just want to continue to perfect and improve on our services in the oil and gas industry. We are not thinking of going into

production and exploration for now.

What are your dreamed companies in global oil and gas space?

The likes of Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger, these are the companies we want to be like, someday in the future even though we are having some kind of collaboration with some of them but the whole idea about GGI is to become a global brand in the oil service industry.

What are some of the practical steps you’ve taken in recent times to improve the status of this company?

Standardization! I just rolled out a number of certificates we have. Those are international certifications recognised anywhere in the world and that means the bar is high on our side. Our staff go through a lot of training as we strive to remain international both in capacity and products.

Are you aware Project 100 and is your company keying into it?

Very well! And we are on it.

What are the steps you are taking or have taken to see that these opportunities are grabbed and then make the best out of it by your company?

One of them is creating visibility. In this country, if you mention the top five oil service companies, GGI will certainly drop in. That is the extent of the visibility we’ve created and now by subscribing to your magazine, Orient Energy Review we are also creating more visibility, especially among your readers in the local and international world.

What is your advice to upcoming investors in this line of business?

Patience and Integrity are all that is required. You just have to be patient and build integrity along the line; your yes must be yes and your product must be right. Patience comes into play because it’s not a one day or two days thing. So, you must be patient, insist on quality and of course, you must be focused and know where you’re going.

What’s the best way of describing GGI? We are a one-stop shop for all drilling and production chemicals in the oil and gas industry. With GGI built on sound business principles in addition to continuous capacity building of its staffers, the establishment is better described as an international brand as these qualities have left this business of over 20 years as a one-stop shop for drilling and production chemicals.

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