Tolmann's CEO talks business

Tolmann, CEO, Sir, Emmanuel, Onyekwena, Nigeria, Africa, oil & gas, BOSIET, Allied servicesSir Emmanuel Onyekwena has become a major player in the oil and gas industry providing top quality training and working closely with international oil companies

Tolmann Allied Services is a leading international risk management safety and emergency company based in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. The CEO, Sir Emmanuel Onyekwena has become a major player in the oil and gas industry providing top quality training and working closely with international oil companies


1. Tolmann Allied Services, a Port Harcourt- based indigenous company, has been an important player in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, providing a whole range of safety trainings to oil workers. Could you detail the type of services and products your company has been developing?

Tolmann is a leading international risk management safety and emergency company. The company has grown in strength and capacity, meeting the ever-increasing challenges of its goals, values, vision, mission and strategic focus. We promote Safety Management through specific safety training, support service and technology.
Since 1997, our company has been involved in the provision of training in Nigeria, mainly in the offshore and maritime industries. Some of the courses we run are mandatory by law and the objective is to train people prior to deployment offshore.

Our Offshore Safety Training centre is located in Port Harcourt. It is fully equipped with modern classrooms, world-class simulation dunker, fire fighting chamber,
totally enclosed motor propelled craft, canteen, medical unit and qualified professionals.

Especially in the offshore oil industry, this training raises awareness about safety, new working environments such as the swamp and brings necessary caution at work. Our expertise is required for specific projects taking place onshore, offshore and in deep water. Today, there is a major focus on deep offshore operations in Nigeria; you need to be 100 per cent sure that your human resources are ready for this environment and can work in these conditions, and this is where we come in, providing customised top-of-the-range trainings in several areas such as Basic Offshore Safety Induction Emergency Training (BOSIET).


2. Your Company has been awarded several certifications and membership such as SQA – A1, V1, IASST, DPR, OGTAN, in recognition of your outstanding professionalism and level of expertise. How do they help Tolmann develop business with International Oil Companies?

The oil and mineral act regulation in Nigeria stipulates that training provided in Nigeria has to meet certain requirements and certifications must be held. The DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources) has the responsibility to accredit and certify training centres that have the full capacity to deliver high quality safety sessions in the oil and gas industry. Being the regulatory body of the industry, the DPR audits training facilities to ascertain needs and capability for training in the oil and gas sector. Tolmann is the only 100 per cent Nigerian company that holds all the necessary certifications.

The SQA (Scottish Qualification Authority) certification means a lot to the company: it applies its rigorous quality assurance framework to the delivery and quality assurance of the qualifications to ensure that high standard is maintained.

In the maritime sector, we have got the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping): these are more requirements for vessels and ships that need to go offshore and we meet these challenges as well. Also Tolmann was the very first company in sub-Saharan Africa to become a full member of IASST (International Association for Safety and Survival Training), which is a very prestigious association present in over 46 countries around Africa, Europe and the Americas. This was in 2008 after a rigorous process of audit and interviews, and then in 2009 Tolmann was appointed Country Representative of the IASST. A Memorandum of Understanding exists between Tolmann and Texas A&M University Galveston, Texas.

Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) that puts together all the key players in the area of training is an important institution that studies the ever-changing needs of the industry in terms of safety and makes sure that new measures will fit our working environment. At Tolmann, we also ensure that our training programmes are realistic and can be adapted and customised to suit clients’ needs.

It is important to realise that in the past, workers were sent to Aberdeen to receive training but today we work side by side with international companies from the UK, the USA and Australia. Tolmann can now provide all this training locally with the same quality standards. All these major achievements have been made possible thanks to multinational companies and the support of the government.

Tolmann Allied Services is acting in favour of the transfer of technology along with the government’s Local Content policy.

3. In 2010, you trained more than 4,000 people in Nigeria and according the last estimated figures, you have been involved with more than 3,000 oil workers since the beginning of this year which lets us suppose that will beat every record in 2011. How do you explain that success?

I would say consistency is the key to success. At Tolmann, we strive to constantly improve our training by trying to be dynamic as possible. We always attend conferences and business events to refresh our course practices and to bring in new ideas.

In 1997, when the company was incorporated, we had six employees but today we have grown to 60 staff. We have a worldclass training facility in the Niger Delta oil rich city of Port Harcourt.

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