CFI.co Meets Agha Abani
Mr Agha Abani is the founder and CEO of Harrybeat lnternational Services Limited, an oil and gas services company with its corporate head office in Port Harcourt in the Rivers State, Nigeria. Mr Abani is a member of National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) lnternational and The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC). He is also an accountant and as such held a number of positions of distinction.
Previous to the founding of Harrybeat International, Mr Abani trained and worked for the chartered accountants office of KPMG Peat Marwick Ani Ogunde& Co. During the course of his career, he accumulated 22 years’ worth of experience in the oil and gas industry. For seven years Mr Abani was employed by International Corrosion Control Limited – one of the field leaders in the oil sector. After holding various positions at this company, Mr Abana resigned 1999 from his job as acting general manager.
Over the past decades, Mr Abani has found great satisfaction in expanding on his professional capabilities and knowledge by attending a number of management and technical courses in Nigeria, the United States and Great Britain. These courses concerned, among others, the Fundamentals of Corrosion and Corrosion Control Methods, Economic Aspects of Corrosion Control and Contract Administration at Etchingham Training Centre in East Sussex.
He also found the time to attend several conferences, technical programs and business summits at Salt Lake City, Houston, Florida, Atlanta and Las Vegas in USA and Paris, France.
“We have plenty of good people right here in Nigeria who can successfully compete with any expatriate. You just need to know how to find and recruit these highly-qualified Nigerian engineers.”
Mr Abani went on to become the co-founder and operations director of Petro-source Nigeria Ltd. He also was deputy managing director of Worldwide Oilfield Services Limited.
At Harrybeat International, Mr Abani is particularly proud of the local capacity his company has helped built. Thanks in part to the Nigerian Content Law skill development has taken a veritable leap thanks to which Harrybeat International is now able to execute even the most advanced jobs on time, spec and within the allotted budget using 98% locally recruited oil workers and other professionals. Indeed most jobs are completely using Nigerian labour exclusively.
“If we do need to hire an expatriate worker, it is mostly to impact project-specific knowledge to our workers after which we are done and the expat may return home,” says Mr Abani who credits the Nigerian Content Law for the great strides made in employing local professionals and experts. “We have plenty of good people right here in Nigeria who can successfully compete with any expatriate. You just need how to find and recruit these highly-qualified Nigerian engineers.”
Harrybeat International is celebrating its tenth year of expanding operations this year and Mr Abani foresees a bright future: “Nigerian oil and gas services companies are now first claiming their home turf and have been thriving on the challenge. It is not at all unthinkable that in a few years from now – perhaps a decade – we’ll actually be able to export our accumulated knowledge and experience to other countries.” For Harrybeat International, quite proverbially, the sky appears to be the limit.