Bukola Adubi, the COO of MicCom Cables Nigeria Ltd, who doubles as the President of the Cable Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CAMAN), is a household name in the Energy, Oil & Gas industry in Nigeria, adding value to a male-dominated industry as one of the industry’s players that call the shots among women in the energy sector of the economy. As one of the sponsors of the just concluded 11th Practical Nigerian Content, held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital, the eloquent MicCom Cable’s boss shared her wealth of experience with SHOLA AKINGBOYE on the sidebar at the event. She advised the government and stakeholders in the energy sector on how to make Nigeria investments friendly, and also expatiated on the impact of the annual PNC event on the Energy sub-sector where she belongs as a manufacturer of quality cables, among other issues.
Q: Your company, MicCom Wires & Cables, has been one of the major sponsors of PNC conferences & exhibitions in recent times; in your view, how would you rate this year’s PNC event in terms of achieving its purpose despite some challenges this year?
Adubi: Yes, it has achieved a lot. I am particularly impressed with the last-minute change of venue due to the flood situation in Bayelsa state. People still came and quality people that matter came to the event in Uyo. This is not just about the crowd, but the event this year had quality people in attendance. This says a lot about the event itself, it says a lot about how people are happy to be part of it, and it can only mean that they are getting something out of the PNC event from time to time. The event has been good, no doubt about it.
Q: As the president of the Cable Manufacturers Association (CAMAN), is there any significant thing the PNC has achieved for your energy sub-sector?
Adubi: It is a work in progress; the most important thing is that we are now being seen, especially in the oil & gas sector. Thank God for NCDMB. Now they see us, they have seen the capacity that we have; a few of our members are playing heavily in the space. At least I know of four or five of our members in that space. But it is not just about oil & gas. Our industry doesn’t just do oil & gas, we do construction; we do government and many other institutions, so it will help if the executive order of the President cut across all these and is implemented, we would benefit more.
Q: You are one of the panelists at one of this year’s panel sessions, “Enhancing Nigerian Content & Increasing Added Value through Sectoral & Regional Linkages”. Can you expatiate in brief what message the topic tends to pass?
Adubi: What we discussed is basically what the government can do for businesses to boost the implementation of local content. How we can move from being just a local content in Nigeria to a local content regionally.
Adubi: For example, with respect to the African Free Trade Continental Agreement, what do we do, how do we move.In the conversation, what we are just saying is that a lot of things need to be done. The ECOWAS agreement is not quite working, and now you are expanding it to 55 countries.
Adubi: Certain things need to happen; a lot of trade barriers needs to be broken, such the tariff issues, logistics issues, infrastructure issues, human capacity issues, and technology capacity issues.
We as institutions, need to realize that we are not dealing with Nigerians in the Nigerians space alone again; the people we are going to be competing with are going to be foreigners. It does not mean that because I am going to Angola, I would deal with Angola. I am dealing with who Angola has been working with, which is likely a foreign company. How do I position myself to compete there? Those are the questions that we need to be asking ourselves. It was indeed a very interesting session.
Q: What else?
Adubi: Some of those things we discussed was how to get and keep investments. How to make the country investment friendly, and even how to make ourselves investors friendly. The only way we can make these happen is when the investors see that the technological and/or entrepreneurial gap we have is small, such that they see that there are no huge risks in investing with us. Nobody wants to put their money in any area they are not sure to get return on their investment.
It was a delightful conversation at the 2022 panel sessions. It was a conversation that is talking about the future. It is the right time for us to talk now so that by the time Nigeria gets fully integrated; we are all going to be better for it.
Q: What would you like to add that we have not asked?
Adubi: I think everybody just has work to do. The difference is we can’t just keep talking.