Govt, banks, touts, our headache-Real drill

The rich also cry is the graphic image of day-to-day travails of borehole drillers in Nigeria, going by the words of the Chief Executive Officer of Real drill Hydrokonsul ltd, Osogbo, Alhaji Najeem Ajani, who has put in over a decade years into his business.

He told The that submitting company profile with content of high profile jobs, qualified/experienced personnel, innovative equipment, capability bank financial guarantee document among others do not earn companies a win on competitive bidding, disclosing that government advertises contract and pronounces bidding only to observe official righteousness and not to give jobs to the most competent bidders.

Also on the list of problems which drillers encounter, according to him, is government’s failure to assist them with friendly loan  to acquire innovative equipment said to be capital intensive, adding that to get an in vogue drilling rig, especially from India with average accessories costs nothing less than N130m considering the prevailing foreign exchange rate.

“It is a known fact that challenge faced by many businessmen or investors with banks is neck cut interest on any given loan as well as long processing of loan facility beyond necessary period. Conditions, in terms of collateral and guarantors are parts of challenges often experience in the bank sector. If government can come in here, business will definitely grow. But reverse is the case as everyone is left to fend for himself,” he said.

Ajani added that another clog in the wheel of drillers is the escapades of touts who regularly invade sight and demand for money before commencement of work. He said that in some occasions, drillers are coerced to pay fine for starting job without their consents, stating further that the touts claim what he called exorbitant ransom outweighing drillers. In the long run, he stressed, drillers would waste time and still pay money without receipt.

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“There was a site I paid as much as N130000 in Ibadan sometimes last year in  order to save my workers life and  prevent my multi  millions equipment from being vandalised. The touts came in tens as if they wanted to collect ransom from oil drillers. It was dreadful experience as they were fully armed with dangerous weapons and charms with threat to kill if their requests were not granted.  To make this experience unforgettable, police station is less than 100m to the said site,” he recalled.

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