By Chinelo Obogo, Aviation Correspondent
WHEN Mrs. Nkechi Obi worked at ExxonMobil, she discovered the untapped potentialities of the downstream petroleum sector. She learnt that a service gap in the sector exists, which required a marketer with facilities that match the standards of major oil marketers to take up. She therefore conceived Techno Oil to fill in the gap with the objectives of providing service and creating wealth.
Obi then established Techno Oil Limited, through which she has established a firm root in meeting the energy needs of businesses and individuals. The company ensures stable petroleum products supplies and availability through its multi-distribution channels.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, the 50-year old business magnate began her career in ExxonMobil. She quit after 10 years to set up Techno Oil, with the financial help of her husband, Irenaeus Obi and brothers.
Techno Oil, founded in 1998, aptly illustrates the story of the little seed that grew into an oak tree. One of the challenges she was able to surmount was surpassing Exxon Mobil’s stringent target for qualification for country franchise. In the early years of the company, the managers had to contend with rising bank charges that affected profits and operating capital.
Through innovative thinking, Techno Oil introduced its own brand of products. It has therefore recorded significant growth within a short time to the point of becoming a strong player in Nigeria’s oil and gas downstream sector.
Obi has led Techno Oil to become a company holding a diverse portfolio of prime investments in oil and gas, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing. The company is a major supplier of diesel, petrol, gas oil, marine gas oil, marine fuel oil, kerosene, propane, butane and fuel oil in Nigeria. It serves the market through a network of 20 retail outlets spread across the country. Techno Oil has attained a daily distribution of 10 million litres of petroleum products through deployment of strategic assets. It has a 65,000 MT fuel terminal facility in Lagos, which receives and holds all the petroleum products marketed by the company and from which products are distributed through retail outlets, commercial and industrial channels. The terminal has capacity for storage of premium motor spirit, automotive gas oil, household kerosene and dual-purpose kerosene. Other products are aviation turbine kerosene, low pour fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas, lubricants and base oil.
Techno Oil operates a 10,000 metric-tonne lubricant blending plant located at Lekki Lagos. The plant has a large warehouse that stocks over 15,000 metric tonnes of packed lubricants and open storage of over 150 metric tonnes of drums.
In 2012, Mrs. Obi, who loves to read books, watch movies and do window-shopping, was bestowed with the national honour of Member of the Order of Niger (MON). As part of her corporate social responsibility, she started an initiative, “Techno Oil Cooksafe Initiative,” which is focused on health, safety and environment of women through safe cooking in Nigeria and West Africa. The initiative is aimed at saving lives, improve health, empower women and preserve the environment.