AMMASCO oil is now global – Mustapha
Alhaji Mustapha Ado Muhammad is the Chairman/C.E.O of AMMASCO International Limited, a Kano-based company that specialises in lubricants production. In this interview, he reveals some of the secrets behind the success of his business, among others. Excerp
How do you find yourself into this business?
I just have interest in the business. This is the type of business that we see Western nations and in Nigeria, you see it in the South-east and mostly they are big major companies owned by multi-millionaires. I developed an interest in it and wanted to put something on the ground that will economically benefit our people in the North and Nigeria in general - in terms of giving qualitative lubricants to our motorists. In the past, you will see smoke polluting the environment because of bad lubricants in our cars, particularly in the northern part of the country. Because of this, I said let me come up with a brand new engine oil as many people are suffering from bad engine oil in their vehicles. In terms of employment, I saw a lot of youths on the streets doing nothing - before we have more than 20,000 companies but today only 1% of these companies are operating. Because of this problem, you will see many youths playing football day and night, and they find themselves with bad friends. With this work, we operate 24 hours and we give employment to 800 people. At the moment, we are ISO certified. Our quality standard is equivalent to any quality standard anywhere in the world. It means that AMMASCO can take its products to anywhere - Europe, America and Asia. This shows that our quality has met the international standards and needs. Because whatever products you are making, it must meet the standard of ISO that does not compromise its standards.
What challenges are you facing in this business?
There are many challenges. The main one you know it yourself, that is electricity. You cannot get constant power supply for two hours without any interruption, even if you get it you will see that it is low voltage, which cannot run your machines. That is number one, so we need constant electricity supply. We need water also and thank God we are having it now in Kano. If this can be sustained, things will improve.
How long have you been in this business?
Well, I am a businessman for over 30 years. I started operating a company for nearly 8 years now but AMMASCO is six years old. We have applied for MANCAP six years ago because you cannot get NIS ISO at once without getting MANCAP.
What role do you think manufacturers can play in addressing the unemployment issue in Nigeria?
Look! If we can get companies like ours to give employment to 200 people each, I think the unemployment rate will be reduced, all these kind of crime will be reduced and also it will help to boost the economy. It will move the economy from being a consumer economy to a producer economy. Government, on its part, must support manufacturers by giving them incentives. And if the government can come up with plans like that of Indonesia and some countries, I am sure more companies will spring up. Tax holiday is good also for companies because the money that you will use to pay tax you will make use of it to buy and service your machines and equipment and employ more people and that will reduce the unemployment rate. If the government can help the industrialists to set up more and provide more employment that will be good. And a lot of companies will come back to business and, at the end more than 1 million youths would be employed in Nigeria.
Supposing you now get support, how many jobs would you provide?
Well, this is just the beginning. We have people working in our carton department. We have in this place a department we call packaging and production that also works 24hours. We now set up a recycling department, this can also employ another 150 people and we will soon employ them. If we can get support, we can help Nigeria in terms of providing jobs to the youths.