In this exclusive interview, African Leadership Magazine recently raised a wide range of issues for the Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of the Multibillion dollar Nigerian Conglomerate, Chrome Group – Sir Emeka Offor to address. A foremost African Philanthropist, Sir Offor’s responses are reproduced here.

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In a nutshell, how best do we describe you?

I am simply Sir Emeka Offor, the son of a policeman, born in Kafanchan in the northern part of Nigeria. I stand for excellence. I am a goal-getter. I set big personal goals and enjoy the challenge of achieving the extraordinary and being the best I can be. I am a firm believer in the old Christian values of hard work and dedication to duty, and I am an ardent admirer of these qualities in others.

What triggered the philanthropic bent in you?

I have always had a desire and yearning to help people. Coming from a humble background, I know what it means to be on the other side of the divide. I have a passion to uplift people and make them independent and self-sufficient.

You are a successful man by all standards, how did you get here?

It is by the grace of God. One can only set goals for himself, and commit himself to realizing his vision of the future, choosing to be focused, diligent and courageous in his pursuit of excellence, trusting that with God, all things are possible. He has rewarded my efforts, and for that I am truly grateful.

Rotary International recently celebrated you. What is the extent of your involvement with Rotary?

I am a member of Rotary International. I am deeply involved in the 4 cardinal pursuits of the Rotary Foundation, which are; peace and Conflict Management, Maternal and Child Death, Basic Education and Literacy, and Polio and Guinea Worm Eradication.I have made an outstanding donation of 250,000 USD for Peace studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, 250,000 USD for Polio eradication, 250,000 USD for Guinea worm eradication and another 250,000 USD for Women empowerment programs. Recently I was inducted into the Arch Klumph Society of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International an honour reserved for individuals who have donated over $250,000 to its causes. I have donated over $1million, making me the highest donor to Rotary International from Africa.

Nigeria is still grappling with enormous challenges in the midst of plenty. Can you proffer a panacea to our national challenges?

Instead of asking what the government can do about the situation, I have always taken the position that there must be something in my power to do, some impact I can make, something I can contribute to help remedy the situation. I believe in the dictum, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.The problem of poverty is not unique to Nigeria alone. The answer to the question of wealth creation and distribution has always been the creation of value. The course we have adopted at the Chrome Group is one of job creation. Great visions require great investment. It takes people to bring these visions to reality, and I am grateful to have good and competent people around me. We also believe that the dire situation of things has, paradoxically, brought us to a unique place of opportunity as a nation.It has produced an army of young men and women eager to prove themselves. We believe that if their “hunger” and ambition can be channelled into positive, profitable enterprise, the youth of our great nation can and will deliver this great nation. To this effect, through the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, we have embarked on various Youth Empowerment Schemes, with particular focus on skills acquisition programmes. I have unshakeable faith in the never-say-die spirit of the Nigerian. They say that knowledge is power. This has informed our heavy investments in education. The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is the largest single sponsor of Books For Africa, a not-for­ profit organization, bringing in over 10 million USD worth of books, computers and other educational materials to our national institutions oflearning and public libraries. Since we are of the opinion that only informed people can make informed decisions, we are not going to relent on our efforts. We are well aware of the plight of widows in our nation.We are actively involved in empowering these women through our Widows’ Cooperative Schemes.We are dissatisfied with merely doling out hand-outs to them, which can only ameliorate their conditions for a time, but seek to help them achieve a level of independence and self­ sufficiency. I strongly believe that if these efforts are replicated by others, the press will be singing a different tune about Nigeria in the not-too­ distant future.

Interstate Electrics recently won the bid for the Enugu DISCO ofthe PHCN. How did you edge out other strategic players in the industry to emerge preferred bidders?

Interstate Electrics Limited is a consortium incorporated as a vehicle for the purpose of acquiring and operating Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria.It emerged the preferred bidder for the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Pic after a rigorous bidding process in the sale of PHCN in 2012, with an Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC & C) loss reduction proposal of 20.83%. The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Pic is one of the eleven electricity/marketing zones created out of the power Holding Company of Nigeria, covering the five states of the South East geo-political zone namely Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. The strength of Interstate Electrics Limited derives from its local knowledge of the operating environment, and the “Third World” experience of its key partner, Metropolitan Electricity Authority (Thailand). This synergy boasts a collective global experience of over So years and the requisite financial resources and technical competence required to reactivate, modernize and revolutionalize the Enugu Distribution Company.

Is Interstate collaborating with foreign Technical Partners? Who are they and what experience are they coming with?

Our foreign technical partner is the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) of Thailand. Established in 1956, MEA is responsible for the distribution and sales of electricity to users in Bangkok and metropolitan vicinities. MEA’s distribution area covers 3,195 square kilometres, which is divided into 14 districts with a population of about eight million and energy sales of 44,174 gigawatt hours of electricity. It is reputed to he one of the most efficient power distribution companies in the world with record technical and commercial losses of below five per cent owr the past eight ye<Jrs.

What plans does Interstate Electtics have fot•Enugu DISCO going forward?

The slralegic vision of Interstate Eleclrics Limited is to be one of the best electricity distribution companies in sub-Saharan Africa. To realize this vision, it will strive to provide cost-effective and high quality electricity distribution and retail supply services to its customers within the allotted distribution zone. We will build an electricity distribution network that employs innovative products and services together ‘ ith intelligent monitoring, control and communication to help customers opti mize energy use, providl:! customl:!rs with greater information and choice of supply; significantly reduce the environmental impact ofthe whole electricity supply system and deliver enhanced levels of reliability and security supply. It will operate a financially disciplined operation through CAPEX (Capital E.xpenditure) investment, robust cost management and a technology-driven financial reporting system. This will enable the Distribution Company return value to the shareholders and other various stakeholders through adequate remuneration of staff, taxes to govl:!rnml:!nt, investml:!nt in corporal!:! soci<Jl responsibility and dividend to shareholders. From the improvement of network processes, to the revamp, repair, redesign and optimization of the network, to network expansion in the long term, the company is poised to deliver unparalleled service to its customers.

What is the core Mandate of Kaztec Engineering, a subsidiary of the Chrome Group?

Kaztec Engineering Limited is fast becoming a leader in the fabrication of drilling and production platforms, as well as other specialized structures in the oil and gas industry. The company is equipped to provide turnkey onshore and offshore fabrication and installation services. Its core capabilities include engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning of offshore and onshore oil and gas facilities for the oil and gas industry in West Africa.


Kaztec is currently erecting a massive complex in Snake Island, Lagos. What should we expect when the complex is completed?

On completion of Snake Island Phase-1 construction Kaztec v\ill have a fully integrated and operating fabrication yard capable of handling up to 5,000 tonncs per year fabrication together v.ith a load out capacity of 4,000 tonnes.ln combination \\ th diverse assets predicated on human capital, project management delivery tea m and integrated processes, Kaztecw:ill rapidly develop into a regional center of excellence, offcring:detailed design; material procurement; fab1ication;and installation and commissioning of large and complex offshore facilities and associated services to the oil and gas industry. The essence of Kaztec as a project delivery vehicle is to build through its core leadership team an indigenous new breed of EPIC capability. Tn managing the delivery of the offshore and onshore infrastructure across the supply chain, Kaztecplans to significantly lower the total cost, appreciably reduce cycle times, reduce delivery risk, and provide a greater degree of assurance to potential operators, as well as: build and grow a wo% indigenous EPIC company on par with international contractors; significantly improve upon overall quality and performance; in tegra ted project management whereby the benefits of early constructability can be realized; build closer relationships with our clients founded on integrated scope delivery. The vision of a world class EPIC capability of executing and delivering full turnkey projects will include:

1. PEED & Preliminary Engineering

2. Detailed Design

3. Material Procurement

4•Fabrication & Load-out

5•Transportation & Offshore Installation

6. Hook-up & Commissioning.

“Vhat projects have they (Kaztec) been able to execute/deliver on?

The company has delivered on various projects. A breakdown includes: the procurement and installation of 24-incl1 Gas Tran mission pipelines, spanning 107 kilometres from Calabar to Adanga, also including the installation of a metering station. After itsuccessful completion, Kaztec carried out the reha bilita tion of its Obcn-Sapclc Gas Transmission pipelines, along with the upgrade of its metering station. More recently, Kaztec entered into an alliance with Addax Petroleum Development (Nigeria) Limited, to successfully execute tire TB 1921project, which entailed the installation of pipelines, topsides a nd other subsea equipmen t in Oil mining Lease 123, offshore Calabar.

The Chrome Group is a major employer oflabour in Nigeria thereby developing our human capital infrastructure.”Vhat informed your faith in the Nigerian economy?

Our nation Nigeria is blessed v.ith abundant human and nah1ral resources. Our faith is first and foremost in the Nigeria n people. I am fully convinced that if given the same opportunities, our local talent can compete with the best there is anywhere in the world. We as a nalion a rc a Lalenlcd a nd resourceful people, a nd once our new intakes come in and embrace the strong work ethic of the group, and imbibe our ca n-do mentality, there is no limit to what we ca n achieve.

What more should we expect from the Chrome Gt•oup?

From me, you can expeel more heroic and focused leadership through Sir Emeka Offor Foundation. Rased on my commitment to ed uca tion you will begin to sec Lhc actualisation of Chrome Energy Skills Centre whicl1v.ill pro>ide vocational skills training and con tinuing ed u cation in the oil & gas, energy, and power sectors. From tl1e G roup’s involvement in destination inspection you will begin to see a more cohesi ve effort in streamlining port acti>ities. From the Group’s interest in Insurance you ‘ ill begin to see the best in class insurance platform that delivers on its promises as well as creating innovative products for the 21st century. As Kaztec Engineering LTD fully consolidates as an EPCIC compa ny and wi th the growing fleet of barges and vessels of Kaztec :Marine Services providing complimentary services you \\ill see a veriically integrated turnkey operation that will deliver on works at very competitive prices. When you consider the Snake Island (Lagos) fabrication yard, ‘ itl1 4000 ton load out quay, you have a Group that can deliver services throughou t the en tire offshore construction value cl1ain. Interstate Electrics, the preferred bidder for Enug u Electricity Distribution Compan y Plc, has acq uired 6o% stake in this utility which supplies all 5 South Eastern States. IEL is poised to deploy Capex (Capital Expenditure) of up to N40 Rillion over the next 5 years to improve the network, upgrade meters to reduce wastage and improve delivery of electricity. Ch rome Group as a conglomerate is clearly aiming to be the leading multi-portfolio Oil and Gas Energy and Power (E & P) and Service delivery Company in Nigeria in th e near term. The Elcrest Company will not only work with the KNPC/NPDC to maximally exploit OML 40, it will also seek other investing partners to develop OML 291 and olhcr promising asseL

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