CNN Marketplace Africa recently interviewed Oando C.E.O., Wale Tinubu. Check out the interview transcripts below and tune in this weekend to watch the show.
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Oil-fueled corruption and conflict have plagued countries like Nigeria, but our next guest says indigenous companies are helping to change the operating landscape. Robyn Curnow sits down with Wale Tinubu, CEO of the Nigerian oil giant, Oando. He explains what it takes to successfully run a petroleum business in the oil-rich nation.
JUBRIL TINABU – Oando
58:56:28 – in the downstream we’re the largest fuels distributor, in the midstream we’re the largest gas distributor, we’ve got pipeline systems in several cities in Nigeria and in the upsteam we produce oil, we also have a rig division that drills on behalf of majors, so we have clients like ENI, Shell as clients, so it’s a whole range, mids, just think down-stream, midstream, upstream. 59:30:05
59:30:05 – And you’re involved in the whole sort of supply chain? 59:34:10
59:34:10 – The whole value-chain, yes. 59:35:08
59:37:00 – So you’re involved in a whole value chain, in terms of Nigeria’s petroleum use. And you’re the only Nigerian owned company of this size… 59:46:00
59:46:00 – Well yes, we’re the only one that does everything, we’re the largest by far, and we’re the only one who is in all parts of the value chain of the industry. 59:58:20
00:19:20 – So you’re the poster boy essentially for the future of Nigerian petroleum. 00:26:15
00:26:15 – I think there’s a recognition also the fact that the indigenous businesses are being build, running with world class standards, able to attract investors across the globe, but based in Africa and trading for and on behalf of the continent, is a new phenomenon. 00:44:15
14:48:05 – As commodity prices rise, as the growth that is fueling Africa makes people very optimistic, what for you as a business that’s trying to be a big regional player, continental player, what for you are the biggest challenges in terms of Africa, West Africa, actually really taking advantage of this growth that many people say is obviously happening? 15:10:10
16:03:10 … – our major challenge which we have is the capital to be able to grow as fast as we would like to grow, the continent is growing minimum 5% across the border, and countries that are commodities driven are growing as much as 7 and a half percent, year in, year out. *** PICK UP *** now I haven’t the capital to bridge the difference between supply and demand, it’s a bit of a challenge, that’s our first challenge.
Second challenge also to a certain extent is skilled labor, we find what we had to do, we call them repatriates, we have a lot of Nigerians working in Diaspora, Africans as well, which we bring back, we track them down wherever they may be, whether they are in the downstream, the midstream or the upstream and we offer them exactly what they’re earning, or invariably, by the time you look at the purchasing par priority, they earn, coming back to Nigeria gives them a lot more cash in their pockets, but they’re able to perform those same functions… 19:29:10
19:29:10 – So you have somebody in London going and finding a Nigerian expatriate that you want to bring back to Lagos. 19:34:00
19:34:00 – Yes, we do, we’ve launched a website as well to… 19:40:10
19:40:10 – Just to bring skilled players back… 19:42:10
19:42:10 – Yes, and it works, so for example, when we were launching our rig operation, we had to have 500 skilled drillers, and we found them in places as far as India, China, South America… 19:56:05
19:56:05 – And you particularly wanted Africans? 19:57:10
19:57:10 – Yes, I wanted Africans, I wanted Africans, Nigerians first and Africans next, I had my reasons for doing so, because I wanted to also prove as we were doing, that we could build indigenous world class operations, so the company is 100% Nigerian, well African as the world could say, but it’s run and operated by Africans with world class standards, (Robyn – on every level), on every level, yes. 20:24:00
20:24:00 – And is that a matter of point for you, that you just want to say: Listen, we can do it? 20:29:00
20:29:00 – Certainly, there’s a point to be proven there, but I think we’ve proven the point long ago, but it’s also just practical in the sense that here’s a change for them to be able to take the same skills that they’ve learned all over the world and apply them into developing their own local community.
21:19:20 – So it’s a no-brainer as they say. 21:21:05
21:21:05 – Yes, exactly. 21:22:00
21:22:00 – Thank you. 21:23:10
CNN Marketplace Africa
CNN Marketplace Africa offers CNN viewers a unique window into African business on and off the continent. It is the destination for movers and shakers at the forefront of African business.
We sit down with major players and innovators changing the face of African enterprise and bring you fresh, cutting-edge business news.
CNN Marketplace Africa — where Africa and the global marketplace converge.
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