By Adedapo Adesanya
As part of the efforts to address the influence of technological developments on the Nigerian lubricants industry, stakeholders gathered at the virtual 2022 Nigeria edition of the International Lubricants Conference (ILC) to share insights on global trends as well as practical suggestions to improve the state of the industry.
The ILC is a bi-annual conference organised to enlighten relevant stakeholders on key industry developments and advancements while connecting manufacturers with key stakeholders.
This year’s edition was held on April 28 and 29, 2022, and had in attendance Mr Taiye Williams, Managing Director of Lubcon Limited; Mr Indu M Gupta, Director for Product Research and Development, Innova Specialty Chemicals; Niket Shah, Director Openspace Services Pvt Ltd; Mrs Lilian Ikokwu, Chief Marketing Officer OVH Energy Marketing; Mr Roberto Vargas, Technical and Commercial Consultant for the Lubricant Industry in Latin America; Mr Godwin Gabriel-Ejeh, General Manager Operations, Pacegate Limited amongst others.
Although Nigeria’s lubricant market currently accounts for about 20 per cent of Africa’s total lubricant demand, the industry is still in its infancy. The adoption of innovative technological advancements, favourable regulations, increased stakeholder collaborations, and consumer education will boost performance strengthening the industry.
The conference themed Technology and its application to the lubricants industry featured panellists and speakers who shared insights on technological advancements in the lubricants industry, the influence of digital technology on the lubricant industry value chain, global regulatory changes as well as an analysis of the raw material supply chain and logistics in Nigeria.
Commenting on the impact of the conference, Mr Williams, the keynote speaker, commended the organisers, noting how insights shared will affect the decisions of stakeholders.
He further commented on the technology and its application to the lubricants industry, noting that, “As manufacturers push the boundaries of engine development, the pursuit of performance has placed new demands on the lubricants required by modern machines.
“With the application of technology, the lubricant industry will produce top quality products, build the capacity of the industry and increase output for Nigeria to remain relevant in the lubricant market.”
Speaking at the conference, Mrs Lilian Ikokwu, the Chief Marketing Officer, OVH Energy Marketing, she said technology is a tool to curb the proliferation of substandard lubricants in Nigeria.
“75 per cent of the lubricants consumed in this country is produced locally which is encouraging. We do hope that in a very few years we would do 100 per cent of what we produce. Out of the 25 per cent being imported, 64 per cent of that volume is substandard. In total, we have 70 per cent of Total Lubes consumed in Nigeria being substandard,” she said.
On his part, Mr Godwin Ejeh, the General Manager, Operations for Pacegate Limited, who spoke on Evolve, Adipro’s CSR said, “the vision of Evolve is to educate the girl child by providing school supplies, thereby giving back to the community. This initiative was birthed from two of the studies ranked 6th (educating women) and 7th (Family Planning) out of 100 in making an impact on reducing the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.”
One of the panellists, Mr Franklin Oranusih, General Manager, Sales and Technical, Pacegate Energy and Resources Limited, addressed the presence and causes of adulterated lubricants in the market.
He said “the reason for having substandard lubricants is not farfetched. Most of the blenders present in Nigeria do not put many factors into consideration during the product formulation process.”
He concluded that with an understanding of the right proportions of components, blenders will produce standard lubricants for the Nigerian market.
This edition of the programme also recognised outstanding industry players with the presentation of awards. The 2022 ILC Prime Player award was presented to Ammasco International Limited for the second time in a row, Total Energies also received the 2022 ILC Impact Award, Bestaf Trading was awarded the 2022 ILC Best Production Technology while Seahorse Lubricants was awarded the 2022 ILC Quality award.
The ILC, being one of the largest lubricant conferences held annually in Nigeria, continues to offer industry professionals the valuable opportunity to develop long-lasting business partnerships and learn about the latest advancements, challenges, and opportunities within the sector.
The South Africa Edition of the ILC will be taking place on November 17 and 18, 2022, and will attract stakeholders across the world to drive conversations and topical issues in the lubricants industry.