Mr Mike Enendu, General Manager for Finance and Administration at West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), has urged Ghanaian vendors to be diligent in adhering to the company’s safety standards.
This, he said, would make them competitive in the larger domestic and global oil and gas sector.
He said getting WAPCo’s safety standards right would equip vendors to be competitive in the oil and gas sector globally as safety was a top priority in the sector.
He gave the advice at the second edition of WAPCO’s Vendors’ Forum, held in Accra on Friday.
“Our standards are global standards and anyone that’s able to meet that standard can hold their heads very high up and be able to compete with anybody, anywhere in the world,” he stated.
Mr Enendu said WAPCo had in place a Health, Environment and Safety (HES) system called the Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) which vendors as well as the company itself were required to operate by.
He explained that all vendors were required to have their own policies and standards documents, which WAPCo would check and grade on performance and give them support to improve when necessary.
“They need to own it, which is why we say it is the responsibility of the chief executives of these companies to ensure that safety becomes culture in their organisations because it is the tone set by management that drives safety,” he said.
Mr Enendu said if management was not keen on safety, it would be difficult for the workforce to be enthusiastic.
“The idea is not to say ‘you’re not good, go away’; the idea is to say; ‘we want you to grow and we’re here to help you grow to be good enough’,” said.
He said standards depended on the types of companies WAPCo dealt with.
Mr Enendu said WAPCo was committed to local content development in all countries where it operated, including in Ghana and took steps to helps companies, especially small companies to develop and grow.
He noted that it while it was not always easy to deal with start-up and small companies, it was important to have the commitment to ensure that they helped start-ups to grow.
In line with this, WAPCo while it did not compromise on standards and safety had a way to help such companies, especially in the areas of financial and human capital as well as technical expertise, which are usually the problems start-ups face, to help them grow.
“For companies who show clear commitment and zeal to perform and conform to some minimum standards, we make the effort to make that we help them…probable relax a few rules to make sure that they are not strangulated financially and ensure their businesses continue to run while they try to pool
resources together,” he told the GNA.
Mr Seth Yeboah Ocran, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of YOKS Investment Limited, who was a vendor for WAPCo, shared his experience.
He said working with WAPCo as a vendor in the transportation sector made it possible to meet the safety and other standard requirements of the company, even though they seemed onerous.
Using his company as an example, Mr Ocran noted that meeting WAPCo’s requirements had helped to shape the competency and direction of YOKS and positioned it to attract major business, including providing transport services for top brands like Movenpick Ambassador and Kempinsky Hotels.
The company had also won a number of awards and had also been nominated for an entrepreneurship award.
He commended WAPCo for the support that his start-up company received while executing the three-year contract with them.
He urged vendors to be humble enough to ask questions where necessary and to build trust with their clients, and to learn from their experiences.