Sopuruchi Onwuka

Public Forum


Anambra-born  businessman, Engr. Emeka Okwuosa, who turns 60 today, stands on the front row of Nigeria’s most successful professionals who drive the nation’s economic development with indigenous capacity. He is a symbol of locally evolved innovations and technical ingenuity in propelling enterprise development and value creation in the domestic economy.

With his company, the Oilserv Group, bestriding multispectral enterprise models across different sectors of the economy, Okwuosa stands out as a titan of epic proportions who has championed the realisation of key national aspirations for development of robust indigenous capacity as the core basis for sustained economic growth.

At 60 years today, Okwuosa also stands unassailably tall as one of Nigeria’s symbols of ethics in enterprise, innovation, indigenous industrial capacity, philanthropy, social service and patriotism.

Like an epic hero that typically invests himself in dismantling obstacles to the success of his community, Okwuosa has staked huge assets in a range of highly diversified enterprises that lead to the realisation of government’s economic growth agenda of creating values in a sustainable way.

In the Nigerian petroleum industry, Okwuosa is leaving indelible footprints with audacious and sturdy strides, delivering complex technology-intensive projects that establish a solid infrastructural foundation for the nation’s industrial and broader economic development.

From his professional pedigree in oilfield services, Okwuosa has conceived, evolved, groomed and grown the Oilserv Group into a conglomerate of diversified business portfolios. And his companies in the group lead innovation in different sectors of the nation’s economy, expand indigenous capacity limits and propel investments that transform into platforms for satisfactory services and creating jobs for teeming Nigerian youth.

Today, the Oilserv brand has contributed to recovering Nigeria’s industry operations budgets to stimulate domestic productivity, expanding linkages between the petroleum industry and the local economy.

As one indigenous capacity signpost, Oilserv has not only proven the speed and cost-efficiency of procuring oil industry services in-country, it has also demonstrated abundant and convincing skills in the management of crises associated with the operating environment, enabling it to drive and deliver key industry projects on time and in budget, even in times of heightened security concerns in the given environment.

The rapid growth of the company into the status of a leading diversified service provider in the petroleum industry points at industry trust that has been earned and established by a track record of performance and service quality. And this has enabled the company to rapidly spawn sister affiliates that are centric on specified niche plays in particular business sectors.

The group is a diversified multinational holding company offering services in and outside Nigeria, with strong presence in the Republic of Benin, Uganda, Kenya, Canada, the United States and other countries.

Frazimex Engineering Limited, an engineering design company, covers pipeline development services, facilities development, civil engineering works, instrumentation and other services.

Frazoil Exploration and Production (E & P) Limited owns and operates Block 3 Offshore Republic of Benin. And Frazpower Limited, which is a gas development company, has the vision to deliver at least 10 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas reserves in the next 10 years, leveraging sources at varying levels of go-to-market readiness.

In the agricultural sector, Ekcel Farms Limited drives a $150 million innovative industrial agricultural project, incorporating cassava and tomato farming with full industrial processing facilities. With technical partners in Europe and Canada, the project has capacity to generate employment for over 2,000 persons and reduce poverty.

With Crown Energy Resources Limited, Okwuosa is driving value derivation in solid minerals extraction, with a Quarry project at Old Netim, Akamkpa, Calabar, in Cross River State. The company will promote quality production output, build local capacity and consolidate on Oilserv Group’s overall investment strategy initiatives.

Okwuosa, who is deeply invested in research and development, especially in nanotechnology, pioneered the Saudi Crown Oilserv (SCOS) Limited with HRH Prince Faisal Bin Turky Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to form the sole private sector initiative of its kind between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Registered and commercialised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, SCOS is entrusted with the responsibility to vastly grow the volume of trade and investments between both regions through indigenization of various sectors in both the GCC and Africa.

With these companies traversing sectors from petroleum, agriculture, construction and mining, Oilserv Group continues to make immense contributions to the industrial development of Nigeria, promoting the utilization of Nigerian content and employing home-grown skills and personnel.

Leading development and deployment of indigenous capacity have remained the longstanding passion of Okwuosa for decades. He had canvassed and vigorously advocated integration of local content in the nation’s petroleum industry policies and also strongly promoted patronage for members of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN). As a pioneer member of the indigenous oil services subsector of the industry, he contributed immensely in the articulation of principles and policies that later crystallized into the local content policy, and, later, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Development Act of 2010.

Beyond policy and act on local content, Okwuosa has consistently demonstrated unassailable capacity for world-class quality in material and services while keenly competing for opportunities with international oil service behemoths, which enjoyed compatriot sentiments from sister operating companies.

If not for quality of service and cost efficiency, nothing else could explain why an indigenous upstart with comparably low influence on global multinational players would have upstaged behemoths like Schlumberger, Halliburton and other service companies in the bid to deliver technically challenging projects like the Obiafu-Obrikomn-Oben (OB3) and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline projects.

Having overshadowed traditional service giants in its niche play, the Oilserv Group has consolidated on outstanding service record with multinationals like Shell, Total, Agip, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and a number of independent petroleum and power companies in Nigeria and abroad.

Obviously, all Nigerians would not have to be employed before they benefit from the values created by the Oilserv Group. The company and its promoter have developed very robust channels of harnessing goodwill to the society.

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Through the Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation, the group has consistently intervened in alleviating the pains of  society by providing shared infrastructure, providing facilities for schools, hospitals, communities and churches across the country. It has also sponsored development of critical infrastructure like roads and other shared services in communities in need across the country.

The Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation has also made significant contributions and interventions in erosion control, provision of potable water and rural electrification. In his Oraifite hometown, the foundation is staking over N5 billion in development of a tertiary medical facility named Dame Nneka Okwuosa Medical Centre.

Most significantly, despite participating in the pan-industry coalition on COVID-19 coordinated by the NNPC, Oilserv sidetracked with special intervention that provided the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 with medical items, including personal protective equipment and tools aimed at facilitating the containment of the coronavirus pandemic. The medical supplies worth over N100 million included 6,000 disposable snout masks, 1,500 hand gloves, 80 cartons of face shields and 4,000 disposable protective suits.

The digital medical tools included 1200 infrared thermometers, 250 facial and temperature monitors, and 2500 COVID 19 rapid test kits with capacity for 15 minutes result.

The medical supplies were for utilization by Rivers, Anambra, Enugu States and the Presidential Task Force.

To cushion the effect of the pandemic on families, Oilserv donated 350 bags of rice to four different host communities in Rivers State. Woji community received 100 bags, Rumuibekwe got 100 bags, Ogale Eleme received 50 bags and Uzuaku community in Abia state 100 bags.

The Group also donated over 3,000 bags of rice and 8000 tubers of yam to families in Oraifite and Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra state.

At Umueshi hall Irefi Oraifite, Oilserv distributed food items worth over N40 million. The food items distributed to the people comprise tons of rice and yam. Besides Oraifite and Ozubulu communities, other institutions, organizations and groups within the area also benefited from the largesse.

The firm under the sponsorship of Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation also delivered over 3500 bags of rice and 8000 yam tubers to a number of communities in Rivers, Abia and Anambra States as it toured selected communities across the country with food palliatives for families impacted by the economic shutdown due to coronavirus.

The intervention package from Oilserv Group valued at over N100 million was the biggest single donation by any indigenous oil service company in the coronavirus fight. The company had already featured prominently in the collective contribution by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) under the guidance of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

Director of the Sir Emeka Okwuosa foundation, Hon. Azuka Okwuosa, had stated that the group believes in the power of humanity to solve any challenge, adding that the belief is deeply rooted in commitment to impact lives positively and to support the government at this difficult time.

Listing the contributions and interventions of the Oilserv Group and Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation would require volumes of separate publications. What has become outstanding though is that the group has not only demonstrated capacity and patriotism; it has also proved that Nigeria has what it takes to be great. And it takes only the resolution of one man who is also the signpost of Nigeria’s quality of education to alter a traditional stereotype of local low quality.

Sir Emeka Okwuosa is a Knight of St. Christopher (KSC) of the Anglican Communion. His faith in the church speaks to his philanthropy, humility, kindness and generosity. 

Engr Dr Emeka Okwuosa is not an expatriate neither did he have the privilege of foreign education. He is a testament that Nigeria has everything it takes to make a great nation.

Emeka is a 1982 graduate of Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He also holds an honorary Doctorate degree in Business Administration (DBA) from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka in addition to honorary Doctorate degree in Engineering (DEng) from Enugu State University of Science and Technology.

In driving his professional career, Dr Emeka Okwuosa has since become an eminent member of several professional groups and trade alliances, including the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), and over 30 other professional bodies.

His membership list includes Society of Professional Well Log Analysts (SPWLA), Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Pipeline Professionals Association of Nigeria (PLAN), Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) – Fellow, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) and Institute of Directors (IoD) – Fellow.

Alongside his footprints in the industrial paths of the country, Dr Emeka Okwuosa has been recognized by  professional groups, rating organizations, the media and trade groups.;

He has received about 10 OTC/PETAN Awards of Excellence in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The event is hosted annually in Houston Texas, USA by the Nigerian country delegation in recognition of Oilserv’s contributions in the development of local expertise and technology transfer to indigenous companies.

He also received the Best of Africa Awards in 2013 at the US Africa International Oil & Gas Leadership Award; Lifetime Achievement Award by PETAN in 2015; Award of Excellence by the Nanotechnology Research Group of the Physics Department, University of Nigeria Nsukka in 2014 and 2016; Nigeria Advancement Award for Creativity and Enterprise in 2016; and the International Socrates Award by the united Kingdom in 2016.

Dr Emeka Okwuosa also received the Award of Excellence by Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) in 2016; the PETAN Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2016; the PETAN Capacity Development Award in 2016; an honorary doctorate degree Award (Hon.D.Eng) by the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) in 2016; and the SUN award of Investor of the Year, Industrialist of the Year Award in 2016.

Also in the list of his awards are the Agro Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2016; Honorary Doctorate Degree Award (Hon.DBA) by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in 2017; Award of excellence in Engineering by the Association of Anambra State Development Union in 2017; Award of excellence in Engineering by the Nigerian Institution of Highway & Transportation Engineers in 2017, and Award of Excellence by Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) 2016.

The rest are Oil & Gas organization of the year award by African Entrepreneurs Foundation in 2017; and the National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOM) By his Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2017.

In recognition of his business acumen and shrewdness while driving value generation without turbulence, many companies have co-opted Dr Emeka Okwuosa into their boards to provide direction to the management.

•Engr. Okwuosa is, respectively, an executive and non-executive director in a number of companies in the financial services sector, petroleum industry and manufacturing. He remains the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of several companies that operate in Africa. Engr. Okwuosa is married with children.